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Does the Official 'Yes on Prop 8' Website Mislead Voters?

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Photo by Tom Andrews/LAist (see more photos here)

It's been more than 10 days since California Attorney General Jerry Brown ruled on the official ballot language for Proposition 8. It simply states that, if a majority of voters say yes, it "Changes California Constitution to eliminate right of same-sex couples to marry. Provides that only a marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California."

Of course, Prop 8 proponents are not happy. In an e-mail to voters today, they said "he believes [the language change] will bias voters to voting No." And despite their disagreement, the legal ballot language for the ballot is final. Their website states that the "the entire text of Proposition 8 is as follows: 'Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid and recognized in California.'

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But Brown's statement is different from the Yes on Prop 8 website, which begs us to ask if there is something fishy here. The answer is no, but it is confusing. The ballot language that describes the ballot (and what voters will see when they go to vote) and what the actual text of the proposition (which will change in the amendment if voters pass the prop) are different. The Yes on Prop 8 website correctly tells voters what the amendment change is, but does not mention the ballot language they will see.

For the Record: The original story posted posed some facts that were confusing which in turn were presented incorrectly. In conversation with election experts, we've updated this to reflect a better presentation of the issue. ~ZB