Capitol Alert

‘The ballot’s too darn long,’ so maybe this song will help

It's here! California's proposition song debuts to explain 17 ballot measures

Kim Alexander of the California Voter Foundation has built a tradition recording a song about the state's ballot propositions facing voters before each election. This year's edition -- with 17 ballot measures -- debuted on Oct. 5, 2016. Courtesy
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Kim Alexander of the California Voter Foundation has built a tradition recording a song about the state's ballot propositions facing voters before each election. This year's edition -- with 17 ballot measures -- debuted on Oct. 5, 2016. Courtesy

You know how you can remember song lyrics from a decade ago even if you've forgotten where you just put your car keys?

The California Voter Foundation hopes the power of song can help people navigate this election, too, once again recording a ditty detailing the ballot measures before voters.

“Every election could use a song,” said California Voter Foundation president Kim Alexander, a folk music enthusiast who plays the ukulele in a video shot around Sacramento. “It’s engaging and it rhymes, and that makes it easier for people to remember.”

If the song’s length of just over five minutes seems on the longer end, that’s consistent with a ballot bursting with 17 different measures. The 2014 version, which covered six propositions, ran three minutes and 22 seconds.

So maybe a folk song with lyrics mentioning “Medi-Cal matching funds,” “carryout bag fees” or “nonviolent offenders” wouldn’t exactly thrill Woody Guthrie, mandolin and fiddle notwithstanding.

But the chorus should have plenty of people nodding in agreement, if not tapping their feet.

“You should all be singing along,” the band croons, “’cuz the ballot’s too darn long.”

Jeremy B. White: 916-326-5543, @CapitolAlert

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