General Greg Zoeller today warned political campaigns to adhere to state
telephone privacy laws and refrain from robocalling residents leading up to
the 2016 Primary Election on May 3 and the General Election on Nov. 8.
enforces the state’s telephone privacy laws and investigates complaints
about robocalls and other unwanted calls. His office received nearly 14,000
complaints about unwanted calls in 2015, a majority of which were about
Zoeller sent a
letter to the state party chairs of the Indiana Democratic Party, Indiana
Republican Party and the Libertarian Party of Indiana as well as to the
national party chairs, urging them to remind all campaigns operating in
Indiana that they should not illegally robocall Hoosiers. Zoeller also
created a guide that campaigns can utilize to ensure they follow Indiana’s
laws aimed at protecting the public from unwanted and intrusive phone
calls are legal in some states, Indiana through its Legislature has chosen
to adopt one of the strictest telephone privacy laws possible,” Zoeller
said. “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.”
Dialer law, 24-5-14-5(b), restricts the use of technology that automatically
dials residential phone numbers and plays prerecorded messages, also called
robocalls. The penalty for violating the Indiana Auto Dialer law is up to
$5,000 per call. Zoeller said his office will not hesitate to go to court to
seek enforcement action against those who violate Indiana’s statute.
campaigns to also share this information with hired outside consultants who
work in multiple states and might not be familiar with Indiana’s strict
telephone privacy laws.
If campaigns want
to play a prerecorded message, a live operator must first have initiated the
call and received the recipient’s permission, either by a prerecorded
request to leave a message or the recipient must have previously opted into
receiving such calls.
If an individual
does not want to receive automated political voice mails, they should make
it clear in their voice mail or answering machine prompt that they only wish
to receive the name and number of the person calling. When a voice mail
prompt invites a message to be left, it provides permission for a
prerecorded message to be left.
political groups are allowed to make traditional “live” calls, even to
numbers registered on the Do Not Call list, as long as the calls are not
Zoeller said if
someone receives an unwanted live campaign call, simply ask to be removed
from the caller’s list. To block telemarketing calls, sign up for the Do Not
Call list at IndianaConsumer.com.
who receive a political robocall or any other unwanted call can file a