California Elections Code, Section 9060-9069: Arguments concerning measures
In case either the argument for or the argument against any measure placed on the ballot is not prepared and filed, the Secretary of State shall, by a general press release, request voters to submit arguments.
The press release shall be mailed at least 120 days prior to the date of the election at which a measure is to be voted upon.
The press release shall consist of an announcement containing:
(a) A summary of the essential nature or purpose of the measure
for or against which no argument has been prepared or filed.
(b) A statement that the affirmative or negative arguments, or both, have not been filed.
(c) An invitation to any voter or group of voters to submit and file with the Secretary of State, within the time limit, arguments for or against the measure as to which affirmative or negative arguments have not been filed.
The summary of a measure given in the press release shall be the official summary that has been prepared by the Attorney General. The Legislative Counsel Bureau shall prepare the summary on all other measures.
Any voter or group of voters may, at any time within the time limit, prepare and file with the Secretary of State an argument for or against any measure as to which arguments have not been prepared or filed. This argument shall not exceed 500 words in length.
A ballot argument shall not be accepted under this article unless accompanied by all of the following:
(a) The name, business or home address, and telephone number of
each person submitting the argument.
(b) If the argument is submitted on behalf of an organization, the name, business address, and telephone number of the organization and of at least two of its principal officers.
(c) The name, business or home address, and telephone number of a contact person for each individual or organization submitting the argument.
(d) If the argument is signed by anyone other than the proponent or legislative author, the name and official title of the person or persons authorized by the proponent to sign the argument.
(e) The signed statement required by Section 9600.
(f) No person signing an argument for or against a measure or a rebuttal to an argument for or against a measure may identify himself or herself in reference to that signature as a candidate for any office.
If more than one argument for or more than one argument against any measure is filed within the time prescribed, the Secretary of State shall select one of the arguments for printing in the ballot pamphlets. In selecting the argument the Secretary of State shall give preference and priority in the order named to the arguments of the following:
(a) In the case of a measure submitted by the Legislature, Members
of the Legislature.
(b) In the case of an initiative or referendum measure, the proponent of the petition.
(c) Bona fide associations of citizens.
(d) Individual voters.
(a) No more than three signatures shall appear with any argument printed in the ballot pamphlet. In case any argument is signed by more than three persons the signatures of the first three shall be printed.
(b) The Secretary of State shall provide, upon request, the name of, and a telephone number for, each signer of a ballot argument printed in the ballot pamphlet.
When the Secretary of State has received the arguments that will be printed in the ballot pamphlet, the Secretary of State, within five days of receipt thereof, shall send copies of the arguments in favor of the proposition to the authors of the arguments against and copies of the arguments against to the authors of the arguments in favor. The authors may prepare and submit rebuttal arguments not exceeding 250 words, or may authorize in writing any other person or persons to prepare, submit, or sign the rebuttal argument. The rebuttal arguments shall be filed with the Secretary of State no later than a date to be designated by the Secretary of State.
Rebuttal arguments shall be printed in the same manner as the direct arguments. Each rebuttal argument shall immediately follow the direct argument which it seeks to rebut.