Ballot Box

Welcome to Ballot Box 2016, your source for coverage of state and local elections—with a bit of presidential politics thrown in as well. Your hosts are Hayleigh Colombo (hcolombo@ibj.com) and Lindsey Erdody (lerdody@ibj.com).
Elections / Politics / Government & Economic Development / Government

Campaigns warned against 'robo' calls

March 21, 2016

Political candidates are officially on notice not to  make “robocalls” to Indiana voters.

Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller sent letters Monday to state and national political party chairs to warn them against making automated calls to voters and playing prerecorded messages, which are illegal in Indiana.

“Although automated calls are legal in some states, Indiana through its Legislature has chosen to adopt one of the strictest telephone privacy laws possible,” Zoeller wrote in the letter. “If your campaign gives the OK to blast out robocalls to Hoosiers, you are disregarding our state law, and my office will take swift action to bring you before court to face public scrutiny.”

Zoeller said his office last year received about 14,000 complaints about unwanted calls—most of which were robocalls. The penalty for violating the law is up to $5,000 per call.

While robocalls are against the law here, campaigns and other groups are allowed to make traditional “live” calls, even to people on the Do Not Call list, provided the call is not for sales.

Voters who receive political robocalls or other unwanted calls can file a complaint with Zoeller’s office by calling 888-834-9969.