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Mass Mailing

Definition of Mass Mailing means over two hundred (200) substantially similar pieces of mail, mailed within a calendar month, but does not include a form letter or other mail, which is sent in response to an unsolicited request, letter, or other inquiry.  Mass Mailing Sent Electronically:  It is required that the name of the candidate or committee be disclosed on over 200 substantially similar campaign messages distributed to the public through email.

Government Code §82041.5
Fair Political Practices Commission Regulation §18435

Note: If you are planning any type of mass mailing, please contact the post office in advance for specific postal regulations.

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Mass Mailing Requirements

  1. Except as provided in subdivision (b), a candidate, candidate controlled committee established for an elective office for the controlling candidate, or political party committee shall not send a mass mailing unless the name, street address, and city of the candidate or committee are shown on the outside of each piece of mail in the mass mailing and on at least one of the inserts included within each piece of mail of the mailing in no less than 6-point type that is in a color or print that contrasts with the background so as to be easily legible.  A post office box may be stated in lieu of a street address if the candidate’s, candidate controlled committee established for an elective office for the controlling candidate’s, or political party committee’s address is a matter of public record with the Secretary of State.
  2. If the sender of the mass mailing is a single candidate or committee, the name, street address, and city of the candidate or committee need only be shown on the outside of each piece of mail.
  3. A candidate, candidate controlled committee established for an elective office for the controlling candidate, or political party committee shall not send a mass electronic mailing unless the name of the candidate or committee is shown in the electronic mailing preceded by the words “Paid for by” in at least the same size font as a majority of the text in the electronic mailing.
  4. If the sender of a mass mailing is a controlled committee, the name of the person controlling the committee shall be included in addition to the information required by subdivision (a).

Government Code §84305

All campaign committees, including candidate, ballot measure, general purpose, major donor and independent expenditure committees, must provide the words “Paid for by” when the committee sends a mass mailing via U.S. mail or through electronic mail. This identification must be presented in the same size and color as the committee name—no less than 6-point type and in a color or print that contrasts with the background and is easily legible. The words “Paid for by” shall be immediately adjacent to and above or immediately adjacent to and in front of the committee name and address

Fair Political Practices Commission Regulation §18435

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Mass Mailing Prohibitions

No newsletter or other mass mailing shall be sent at public expense.

Notwithstanding subdivision (b) of Section 89002, a mass mailing, as defined in Section 82041.5, that meets the criteria of subdivision (a) of Section 890002 shall not be sent within the 60 days preceding an election by or on behalf of a candidate whose name will appear on the ballot at that election, except as provided in paragraphs (2) to (8), inclusive, and paragraph (10) of subdivision (b) of Section 89002.

Government Code §89001

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Political Advertising Requirements — Newspapers

Any paid political advertisement that refers to an election or to any candidate for state or local elective office and that is contained in or distributed with a newspaper, shall bear on each surface or page thereof, in type or lettering at least half as large as the type or lettering of the advertisement or in 10-point roman type, whichever is larger, the words “Paid Political Advertisement.”  The words shall be set apart from any other printed matter.

As used in this section “paid political advertisement” shall mean and shall be limited to, published statements paid for by advertisers for purposes of supporting or defeating any person who has filed for an elective state or local office.

Elections Code §20008

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Simulated Ballot Requirements

  1. Every simulated ballot or simulated county voter information guide shall bear on each surface or page thereof, in type or lettering at least half as large as the type or lettering of the statement or words or in 10-point roman type, whichever is larger, in a printed or drawn box and set apart from any other printed matter, the following statement:
  2. Notice to Voters (Required by Law)

    “This is not an official ballot or official county voter information guide prepared by the county elections official, or the Secretary of State.

    “This is an unofficial, marked ballot prepared by (insert name and address of the person or organization responsible for preparation thereof).”

    This section shall not be construed as requiring this notice in any editorial or other statement appearing in a regularly published newspaper or magazine other than a paid political advertisement.

  3. A simulated ballot or simulated county voter information guide referred to in subdivision (a) shall not bear an official seal or the insignia of a public entity, and that seal or insignia shall not appear upon the envelope in which it is mailed or otherwise delivered.
  4. The superior court, in a case brought before it by any registered voter, may issue a temporary or permanent restraining order or injunction against the publication, printing, circulation, posting, or distribution of any matter in violation of this section, and all cases of this nature shall be in a preferred position for purposes of trial and appeal, so as to assure the speedy disposition of cases of this nature.

Elections Code §20009

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Truth in Endorsements Law

Provides information regarding restrictions on endorsements, representation requirements, etc.  A copy is available in the California Elections Code which can be viewed at http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/.

Elections Code §§20000-20010

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Electioneering Near Polling Place

No person, on Election Day, or at any time that a voter may be casting a ballot, shall, within 100 feet of a polling place or an elections official’s office:

  1. Circulate an initiative, referendum, recall, or nomination petition or any other petition.
  2. Solicit a vote or speak to a voter on the subject of marking his or her ballot.
  3. Place a sign relating to voters’ qualifications or speak to a voter on the subject of his or her qualifications except as provided in Section 14240.
  4. Do any electioneering.

As used in this section, “100 feet of a polling place or an elections official’s office” means a distance 100 feet from the room or rooms in which voters are signing the roster and casting ballots.

Any person who violates any of the provisions of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor.

Elections Code §18370

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Contact Information

Deva Marie Proto

County Clerk-Recorder-Assessor-Registrar of Voters

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Santa Rosa, CA 95403
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Santa Rosa, CA 95406-1485