Robo Call Harassment May Soon be Illegal

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All too often, winning an election is enough to make a political party forget the dirty tricks it suffered around voting time. Looks like that might not be the case for the 2006 midterms. From TPM: “Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) has introduced legislation that seeks to punish harassing robo calls and other attempts to mislead voters… which he said would be among the first 10 bills in the new Senate.”

Obama’s press release, also available at the TPM link, pretty much nails it.

The legislation, the Deceptive Practices and Voter Intimidation Prevention Act of 2006, would make it illegal for anyone to knowingly attempt to prevent others from exercising his or her right to vote by providing deceptive information and would require the Attorney General to fully investigate these allegations. The legislation would also require the Attorney General, in conjunction with the Election Assistance Commission, to provide accurate election information when allegations of deceptive practices are confirmed.

Note: How is this not already law? To continue:

In House races across the country, reports surfaced of Democrats receiving dozens of harassing robocalls designed to imply that they came from Democratic candidates. In fact, the calls were paid for by Republicans and were intended to suppress turnout among Democrats.

Yup. Mother Jones wrote about this in late October. See the story here.

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