Friday, January 24, 2014

Question of the Week

I am a PTA member and currently working on the “yes” campaign for our local school levies. Can PTAs (legally) provide the “yes” campaign with an electronic list of their members for the sole purpose of making phone lists to remind PTA members to turn their ballot into the drop box?

PTA members who are phone banking for any campaign committee may NOT use PTA lists (their personal list of member phone numbers or a membership directory).  This includes reminding people to return their ballots.  The levy/bond committee cannot use PTA member lists, lists must be generated outside of PTA.

PTA must comply with the laws that allow us to have/keep our tax exempt non-profit status with the IRS as a 501(c)(3) organization.  In addition to the IRS, there are rules that must be followed under the Washington State Public Disclosure Commission.  If anyone provides a list of names to a campaign, the value of the list must be reported as a campaign contribution.

Campaigns of any sort, usually purchase lists from companies like Labels & Lists to make campaign contact.  Labels & Lists can work with you to help identify your targeted voters.

Other ways to remind parents to vote is to post "school election, remember to vote" or "school election, February 11" on your reader board or have a sign waving during drop off and pick up reminding people to vote.  If you are on school property, you may not say “vote yes” or “vote for the levy/bond.”  You can only do this off school property or when you have a facilities use permit (during a meeting). These are rules under the Public Disclosure Commission which restrict the use of public resources in elections.