OUR MISSION

The mission of the Clear Language Institute is to make sure that all amendments, referenda or other propositions that Americans vote on are written in simple, clear language that is easily understood by voters.

To accomplish this, we will use consumer testing, public education, and any available legal means to remove badly written, vague, or confusing propositions from the ballot.

We see absolutely no reason why voters should be asked to cast their votes on propositions they do not understand.

We see absolutely no reason why legislators cannot present their ideas in language that is easily understood.

 

HOW WE ACHIEVE THIS

step one

Make sure it’s readable. We will screen all amendments or referenda before they appear on the ballot, using standard tests for readability (such as the widely used Flesch-Kincaid test).

step two

Make sure people understand it. Using quantitative consumer research, we will test the amendments for comprehension and understanding among a representative, statistically valid, sample of voters.

step 3

If it’s badly written, get it fixed. If our testing indicates widespread misunderstanding of the issue, or little comprehension, the research results will be made public and disseminated as widely as possible using public relations, advertising, flyers, etc.

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Our goal is to have the sponsors of the amendment or referendum re-write it in clear language, so that the voters understand what they’re voting on.

step four

If it’s not re-written, get it off the ballot. If the amendment is not re-written, it does not belong on the ballot, and we will take legal action to have it removed as quickly as possible.

 

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