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home : most recent : statewide implications November 13, 2018

10/25/2018 12:27:00 PM
Political text messages OK; robotexts aren't

Ron Wilkins, Journal and Courier

LAFAYETTE — Good luck finding a respite from political ads, politicians' signs, and all things Republican or Democratic.

Politicians and their campaigns even found a way to invade cellphones with unwanted, unsolicited political text messages, two of which illustrate this story.

The Journal & Courier called the telephone numbers on the texts — 765-390-3738 and 317-343-8282.  The number with the 765 area code was disconnected and no longer in service. The number with the 317 area code picked up but no one was on the line.

To untangle the issues about these text messages, the Journal & Courier asked about the matter to the Secretary of State office, which oversees the state's elections.

"There are no election laws against this," said Secretary of State Communications Director Valerie Warycha.

So sending political texts doesn't violate the laws, per se.

But wait. There's more.

Will Wycliff, a spokesman for the FCC, said the commission will investigate consumer complaints that are filed. He did not comment on the legality issue, but he did provide background information from the FCC's website about robocalls.

Turns out, political parties, campaigns and candidates may call or text would-be voters' phones.

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• Journal & Courier full text

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