The Alabama Senate passed S.B. 96, which would amend Section 17-5-16 of the Alabama Code to require “any communication via phone bank or other automated telephone dialing service to be conducted” with a “notice at the beginning and ending of the phone call that the communication was a paid political advertisement, clearly identifying the identification of the person, nonprofit corporation, entity, principal campaign committee, or political action committee that paid for such communication.” S.B. 96 would also require “Any live or recorded telephone call shall identify the name of the person calling and the candidate or campaign he or she is calling on behalf of.”
Although the bill lacks clear definitions, the restrictions would certainly apply to survey and opinion research calls in a political or public opinion context.
S.B. 96 would thus insert bias into research calls by forcing revelation of sponsorship, in addition to falsely labeling a research call as an advertisement.
MRA is working with the American Association of Political Consultants (AAPC) to either amend or defeat S.B. 96, to protect research in Alabama.