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Roll Call: "Duo Seeks to Add 'Approval' to Web Ads"

April 13, 2005
Press Release

Washington, D.C. - Reps. David Price (D-N.C.) and Mike Castle (R-Del.) introduced a bill Tuesday that would require Internet campaign ads to contain the same "I approved this message" tagline that television and radio ads must include.

Price authored the original Stand By Your Ad Act, which was rolled into the 2002 Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act, mandating that candidates affirm their approval of TV and radio ads paid for by their campaigns. The new legislation would extend that requirement to all Internet communications, including e-mail, as well as to pre-recorded telephone calls.

Price said in a statement that he was prompted to revise the original provision due to the rise in Internet advertising, particularly video ads transmitted over e-mail and then rebroadcast by TV media.

In addition to the bill he introduced with Castle, Price also introduced another piece of legislation Tuesday that would provide additional time for conducting recounts in presidential elections. Price drafted a similar version of the Count Every Vote Act last year.

Under current law, states must certify their election results at least six days before the meeting of the Electoral College in mid-December. Price's bill would move the date for the meeting of state electors from mid-December to Jan. 2. Federal law stipulates that Congress count the votes Jan. 6.

In a press release, the Tar Heel State lawmaker said the election reform bill is designed to give states as much time as possible to complete recounts, without delaying the transition of power from outgoing to incoming federal officeholders.

But his proposal would serve another purpose: dramatically reducing the vulnerability in presidential continuity during the time between when the electors meet and when Congress counts their votes by shortening the period between the two. The winning ticket is not officially the president- and vice-president-elect until Congress certifies the electoral votes, so if something were to happen to the winners before then, the results of the election could be undone. How Congress would handle the death of both winners is not outlined in either the Constitution or federal law.

Price believes the current December meeting of the Electoral College is relatively arbitrary, and he has said that he doesn't see a downside to moving the date closer to Inauguration Day.

"These new bills contain critical changes that will help restore and maintain the faith of our citizens in our democracy," Price said.

— Suzanne Nelson