Political action committee fined in Maryland for text message without identifying line

today10/13/2023 15

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — A conservative political action committee has been fined $20,250 in Maryland for failing to include information in the text message to identify who was sending it during a school board election, officials said Thursday.

The 1776 Project PAC was fined for sending 13,879 text messages to Carroll County voters in last year’s school board election without noting it was the source of the message, according to a news release from Maryland State Prosecutor Charlton Howard and State Administrator of Elections Jared DeMarinis.

Maryland law requires campaign messages sent on behalf of candidates to record who paid for the information to be distributed.  Violations have traditionally been sanctioned with minimal citations, but Howard and DeMarinis noted that technology now allows candidates to reach thousands of people with the press of a button.

“Being able to identify the source of information for campaign material is essential to honesty and transparency in our electoral process,” Howard said.

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