News

Actions

Florida voters angered by early-morning robocalls

Voters question legality of early morning robocall
Posted at 7:15 PM, Oct 31, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-01 08:39:53-04

A political group is apologizing for what they call an error that sent out robocalls to Florida voters at 4 a.m.

I’m going, 'Are you kidding me? At 4 a.m.?’” said a woman named Meadows who received the call, “unreal.”

The call came from a group identifying themselves as the Drug Free Florida Committee, asking voters to vote against Amendment 2, which would legalize medical marijuana in the state.

WFTS-TV in Tampa received complaints from a handful of others who also got the call.

“We've had so many political robocalls that are just as annoying as the sales calls that are illegal,” said Howard. "Why is it OK for the political calls?”

In her case, the robocall on a landline is legal.

According to a letter from the FCC to campaign groups, prerecorded voice messages sent to landlines are permitted if they state clearly the name of their group or business and a number for people to call.

In this case, the group did both.

However, that same message sent to a cellphone is not allowed.

Despite the rules, Billy Howard, attorney for The Consumer Protection Firm, thinks recipients could have a case for the time of the call.

“The way to hold these guys accountable is to sue them,” Howard said.

Christina Johnson, an spokesperson for the "Vote No on 2" campaign, provided WFTS-TV the following statement about the calls:

“Our sincerest apologies to those voters who inadvertently received a recorded call during the early morning hours on Sunday. It was not our intention to have those calls made at that hour. These calls were supposed to be made starting in the early PM and were mistakenly sent in the early AM. We are very sorry for the inconvenience.”

Meadows said the call didn’t make a difference on how she’ll vote next week.

“Somebody dropped the ball,” she said.