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The Florida Statutes

The 2021 Florida Statutes

Title IX
ELECTORS AND ELECTIONS
Chapter 106
CAMPAIGN FINANCING
View Entire Chapter
F.S. 106.147
106.147 Text message and telephone solicitation; disclosure requirements; prohibitions; exemptions; penalties.
(1)(a) Any text message or telephone call supporting or opposing a candidate, an elected public official, or a ballot measure, and any electioneering text message or telephone call, must include the phrase “Paid for by,” followed by the name of the persons or organizations sponsoring the message or call or, in the case of a text message, a working hyperlink or a uniform resource locator (URL) to a website containing the required disclosure.
(b) A candidate’s text message or telephone call must include the phrase “Paid for by,” followed by the name of the candidate, then followed by the word “For,” and the name of the elective office sought.
(c) A website that is hyperlinked, or identified by URL, in a text message must remain online and available to the public for at least 30 days after the date of the election in which the candidate or ballot measure that the advertisement supported or opposed was voted on.
(d)1. If an exchange consists of a sequence of multiple text messages sent on the same day, the sponsorship disclaimer is only required to be included with the first text message.
2. A person or an organization is deemed to be in compliance with this subsection if the sponsorship disclaimer required by this subsection is included in the text message in the form in which the person or organization intended it to be sent, regardless of the form the carrier relayed it to the recipient.
3. If a person or an organization includes a working hyperlink or URL in the text message as part of the required disclaimer, the person or organization is deemed to be in compliance with this subsection even if the recipient’s device is incapable of accessing the referenced website.
(e) This subsection does not apply to any:
1. Telephone call:
a. In which both the individual making the call is not being paid and the individuals participating in the call know each other before the call; or
b. That is a part of a series of like telephone calls consisting of fewer than 1,000 completed calls averaging more than 2 minutes in duration which are conducted for the purpose of polling respondents regarding a candidate or an elected public official.
2. Text message:
a. In which both the individual sending the text message is not being paid and the text is individually sent without the assistance of mass distribution technology, including a text messaging platform; or
b. That requires the recipient to sign up or opt in to receive it.
(2) A text message or a telephone call may not state or imply that the caller:
(a) Represents any person or organization unless the person or organization so represented has given specific approval in writing to make such representation; or
(b) Represents a nonexistent person or organization.
(3) Any text message or telephone call, not conducted by independent expenditure, which expressly advocates for or against a candidate or ballot measure requires prior written authorization by the candidate or sponsor of the ballot measure that the text message or telephone call supports. A copy of such written authorization must be placed on file with the qualifying officer by the candidate or sponsor of the ballot measure before the time the text messages or telephone calls commence.
(4)(a) Any person who willfully violates this section commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
(b) For purposes of paragraph (a), the term “person” includes any individual or organization making an independent expenditure; any candidate; any officer of any political committee, affiliated party committee, or political party executive committee; any officer, partner, attorney, or other representative of a corporation, partnership, or other business entity; and any agent or other person acting on behalf of any candidate, political committee, affiliated party committee, political party executive committee, or corporation, partnership, or other business entity.
History.s. 18, ch. 97-13; s. 31, ch. 2008-95; s. 29, ch. 2010-167; ss. 20, 30, ch. 2011-6; HJR 7105, 2011 Regular Session; s. 21, ch. 2013-37; s. 5, ch. 2021-49.