(a) The Legislature finds and declares that the voters of California are entitled to accurate representations in materials that are directed to them in efforts to influence how they vote.
(b) No person shall publish or cause to be published, with intent to deceive, any campaign advertisement containing a signature that the person knows to be unauthorized.
(c) For purposes of this section, “campaign advertisement” means any communication directed to voters by means of a mass mailing as defined in Section 82041.5 of the Government Code, a paid television, radio, or newspaper advertisement, an outdoor advertisement, or any other printed matter, if the expenditures for that communication are required to be reported by Chapter 4 (commencing with Section 84100) of Title 9 of the Government Code.
(d) For purposes of this section, an authorization to use a signature shall be oral or written.
(e) Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit a person from publishing or causing to be published a reproduction of all or part of a document containing an actual or authorized signature, provided that the signature so reproduced shall not, with the intent to deceive, be incorporated into another document in a manner that falsely suggests that the person whose signature is reproduced has signed the other document.
(f) Any knowing or willful violation of this section is a public offense punishable by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding 6 months, or pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170, or by a fine not to exceed fifty thousand dollars ($50,000), or by both that fine and imprisonment.
(g) As used in this section, “signature” means either of the following:
(1) A handwritten or mechanical signature, or a copy thereof.
(2) Any representation of a person’s name, including, but not limited to, a printed or typewritten representation, that serves the same purpose as a handwritten or mechanical signature.
(Amended by Stats. 2011, Ch. 15, Sec. 248. (AB 109) Effective April 4, 2011. Operative October 1, 2011, by Sec. 636 of Ch. 15, as amended by Stats. 2011, Ch. 39, Sec. 68.)
Last modified: October 25, 2018