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Conducting voter registration and get-out-the-vote drives

Targeted to the restricted class

A corporation (including a trade association or incorporated membership organization) or labor organization may conduct voter registration and get-out-the-vote (GOTV) drives urging its restricted class to register with a particular party or to vote for a particular candidate.

Transportation

The corporation or labor organization may provide transportation to the place of registration or to the polls in connection with the voter registration or GOTV drive.

Phone banks

A corporation or labor organization may establish and operate phone banks to communicate with its restricted class, urging them to register and/or vote for a particular candidate or to register with a particular political party.

Exemption for nonpartisan drives

A voter registration or GOTV drive aimed at the restricted class will not be considered contributions or expenditures if the drive is nonpartisan. However, if the drive does not qualify as nonpartisan, then the expenditure must not be coordinated with a candidate or party committee or it will result in a prohibited contribution.

Reporting

When a corporation, labor organization, trade association or incorporated membership organization pays for express advocacy communications (including voter drives or get-out-the-vote drives) that are directed to the restricted class, it (rather than the SSF) must report the payments on FEC Form 7, once the payments exceed $2,000 for any election.

Targeted to the general public

A corporation or labor organization may conduct registration and GOTV drives directed at the general public. In conducting this activity, the corporation or labor organization may expressly advocate the election or defeat of a clearly identified candidate or the candidates of a clearly identified party (subject to the requirements for independent expenditures); however, voter registration and GOTV drives may not be coordinated with any candidate or any political party.

Transportation

The corporation or labor organization may provide transportation to the place of registration or to the polls in connection with the voter registration or GOTV drive.

Exemption for certain drives

A voter registration or GOTV drive is not a reportable expenditure if the following conditions are met:

  • The corporation or labor organization must not make any express advocacy communications as part of the voter registration or GOTV drive;
  • The voter registration drive must not be directed primarily to individuals previously, currently or intending to register with the political party favored by the corporation or labor organization;
  • Registration information, voting assistance and other services must be made available without regard to the voter’s political preference, and must not be withheld or refused on the basis of support for or opposition to particular candidates or political party. This information must be provided in writing to those receiving such services at the time of the drive; and
  • Individuals conducting the drive must not be paid on the basis of the number of individuals registered or transported who support one or more particular candidate or political party.