Senator Kenneth Corn (D-Poteau) has filed legislation that will limit the use of an automatic dial announcing device, such as those used during the 2004 campaigns.
Senate Bill 30 states certain provisions must be met for a person to legally use the method of calling a home phone number and using a recorded message to announce support or opposition to certain issues relating to political campaigns. According to SB 30, the connection of an automatic dial announcing device to a telephone line is subject to the provisions of the Oklahoma Consumer Protection Act and cannot be used solely for the purpose of calls made on behalf of political candidates.
“During the 2004 elections there were many issues that were to be decided upon by Oklahoma voters. In an effort for campaigns to get their voice out to as many voters as possible, they used an automatic dial announcing device, which at the time did not have any restrictions,” stated Senator Corn. “I believe this legislation will provide strict guidelines for the use of the same devices during the next campaign cycle so that Oklahomans are not bombarded by political calls.”
The bill states that the device must disconnect from the called person’s line no later than twenty seconds after the individual hangs up the phone. Calls are not to be made in Oklahoma before 9:00 am or after 9:00pm or at any hour that collection calls would be prohibited under the federal Fair Debt Collections Practices Act, if the device is used for collection purposes, such as asking for a campaign contribution.
Oklahomans registered with the Attorney General’s office on the “Do Not Call List” are also protected under this measure. Organizations wishing to use an automatic dial announcing device will be required to register with the AG’s office as well and receive the names and telephone numbers of those on the List.
“Many other restrictions and requirements are included within SB 30 in an attempt to prevent Oklahomans telephone lines from being tied up for an excessive amount of time. I look forward to seeing this important bill through the legislative process and working to ensure that Oklahomans do not have their family time interrupted by the numerous political phone calls,” Corn added.
The bill will first be assigned to the proper Senate Committee for initial debate and if passed, will then be heard on the Senate floor for first reading.