m4136 BC-MN-XGR-Closed-Captio 04-21 0179
Minn. bill tailors campaign ads to hard of hearing
ST. PAUL (AP) — It doesn’t matter if they’re uplifting or slimy, campaign ads in Minnesota could soon carry a new feature: closed captioning.
The Minnesota Senate has voted to require candidates for state-level offices to include closed captioning on their television or Web site ads. The move is being sold as a way to help deaf or hard-of-hearing voters access the political content.
There would be some ways out. Campaigns could file a statement with Minnesota regulators explaining why the printed text is missing. They also could post transcripts for radio or Internet ads on their Web site.
And it wouldn’t apply to campaigns that skip public financing.
Democratic Senator Ann Rest says the cost of adding the captioning is less than $100 on a television ad.
The Senate gave preliminary approval to a broader bill containing the measure.