Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 24.2. Elections
Chapter 9.5. Political Campaign Advertisements
12/6/2021

Chapter 9.5. Political Campaign Advertisements.

Article 1. General Provisions.

§ 24.2-955. Scope of disclosure requirements.

The disclosure requirements of this chapter apply to any sponsor of an advertisement in the print media, on radio or television, or placed or promoted for a fee on an online platform, the cost or value of which constitutes an expenditure or contribution required to be disclosed under Chapter 9.3 (§ 24.2-945 et seq.) except that the disclosure requirements of this chapter do not apply to (i) an individual who makes independent expenditures aggregating less than $1,000 in an election cycle for or against a candidate for statewide office or less than $200 in an election cycle for or against a candidate for any other office or (ii) an individual who incurs expenses only with respect to a referendum.

2002, c. 487, § 24.2-941; 2006, cc. 787, 892; 2008, c. 825; 2020, c. 551.

§ 24.2-955.1. Definitions.

As used in this chapter, unless the context requires a different meaning:

"Advertisement" means any message appearing in the print media, on television, on radio, or on an online platform, that constitutes a contribution or expenditure under Chapter 9.3 (§ 24.2-945 et seq.). "Advertisement" shall not include novelty items authorized by a candidate including, but not limited to, pens, pencils, magnets, and buttons to be attached to wearing apparel.

"Authorized by ______" means the same as "authorization" as defined in § 24.2-945.1.

"Campaign telephone calls" means a series of telephone calls or text messages, electronic or otherwise, made (i) to 25 or more telephone numbers in the Commonwealth, (ii) during the 180 days before a general or special election or during the 90 days before a primary or other political party nominating event, (iii) conveying or soliciting information relating to any candidate or political party participating in the election, primary or other nominating event, and (iv) under an agreement to compensate the telephone callers.

"Candidate" means "candidate" as defined in § 24.2-101.

"Candidate campaign committee" or "campaign committee" means "campaign committee" as defined in § 24.2-945.1.

"Coordinated" or "coordination" means an expenditure that is made (i) at the express request or suggestion of a candidate, a candidate's campaign committee, or an agent of the candidate or his campaign committee or (ii) with material involvement of the candidate, a candidate's campaign committee, or an agent of the candidate or his campaign committee in devising the strategy, content, means of dissemination, or timing of the expenditure.

"Conspicuous" means so written, displayed, or communicated that a reasonable person ought to have noticed it.

"Full-screen" means the only picture appearing on the television screen during the oral disclosure statement that (i) contains the disclosing person, (ii) occupies all visible space on the television screen, and (iii) contains the image of the disclosing person that occupies at least 50% of the vertical height of the television screen.

"Independent expenditure" means "independent expenditure" as defined in § 24.2-945.1.

"Name of candidate" means (i) the full name of the candidate as it appears on the statement of qualification filed pursuant to § 24.2-501 or as it will appear on the ballot or (ii) the first name, middle name, or "nickname" of the candidate as it appears on his statement of qualification and a last name of the candidate as it appears on his statement of qualification.

"Occurrence" means one broadcast of a radio or television political campaign advertisement.

"Online platform" means any public-facing website, web application, or digital application, including a social network, ad network, or search engine, that sells advertisements.

"Online political advertisement" means an advertisement that is placed or promoted for a fee on an online platform.

"Online political advertiser" means any person who purchases an advertisement from an online platform or promotes an advertisement on an online platform for a fee.

"Political action committee" means "political action committee" as defined in § 24.2-945.1.

"Political committee" means "political committee" as defined in § 24.2-945.1.

"Political party" has the same meaning as "party" or "political party" as defined in § 24.2-101.

"Political party committee" means any state political party committee, congressional district political party committee, county or city political party committee, or organized political party group of elected officials. The term shall not include any other organization or auxiliary associated with or using the name of a political party.

"Print media" means billboards, cards, newspapers, newspaper inserts, magazines, printed material disseminated through the mail, pamphlets, fliers, bumper stickers, periodicals, websites, electronic mail, non-video or non-audio messages placed or promoted for a fee on an online platform, yard signs, and outdoor advertising facilities. If a single print media advertisement consists of multiple pages, folds, or faces, the disclosure requirement of this section applies only to one page, fold, or face.

"Radio" means any radio broadcast station that is subject to the provisions of 47 U.S.C. §§ 315 and 317.

"Scan line" means a standard term of measurement used in the electronic media industry calculating a certain area in a television advertisement.

"Sponsor" means a candidate, candidate campaign committee, political committee, or person that purchases an advertisement.

"Telephone call" means any single telephone call or text message, electronic or otherwise, that when combined with other telephone calls or text messages constitutes campaign telephone calls.

"Television" means any television broadcast station, cable television system, wireless-cable multipoint distribution system, satellite company, or telephone company transmitting video programming that is subject to the provisions of 47 U.S.C. §§ 315 and 317.

"Unobscured" means that the only printed material that may appear on the television screen is a visual disclosure statement required by law, and that nothing is blocking the view of the disclosing person's face.

"Yard sign" means a sign paid for or distributed by a candidate, campaign committee, or political committee to be placed on public or private property. Yard signs paid for or distributed prior to July 1, 2015, shall not be subject to the provisions of §§ 24.2-956 and 24.2-956.1.

2002, c. 487, § 24.2-942; 2003, c. 237; 2006, cc. 787, 892; 2015, c. 573; 2020, cc. 551, 554, 615.

§ 24.2-955.2. Publications not to receive compensation for advocating candidacy; penalties.

A. It shall be unlawful for any owner, proprietor, editor, manager, officer, clerk, agent, reporter, or employee of any newspaper, magazine, or periodical printed or published in this Commonwealth to accept or receive or agree to accept or receive, for himself or another, any money or other valuable consideration for such newspaper, magazine, or other periodical supporting or advocating the election or defeat of any candidate. But nothing in this section shall prevent any person, firm, or corporation engaged in the publication of any newspaper, magazine or periodical from receiving from any person compensation for printing and publishing any matter, article or articles advocating the election or defeat of any candidate, if a statement, "Paid Advertisement," appears in plain type in boldface Roman capitals in a conspicuous place at the beginning of the matter or article and the matter or article otherwise complies with the provisions of this chapter.

B. The person accepting a "Paid Advertisement" for the newspaper, magazine or periodical shall require, and for one year shall retain a copy of, proof of the identity of the person who submits the advertisement for publication when the authorization statement on the advertisement is made pursuant to this chapter by an individual or entity other than a candidate, candidate campaign committee, political party committee, or political action committee. Proof of identity shall be submitted either (i) in person and include a valid Virginia driver's license, or any other identification card issued by a government agency of the Commonwealth, one of its political subdivisions, or the United States, or (ii) other than in person, in which case, the person submitting the advertisement shall provide a telephone number and the person accepting the advertisement may phone the person to verify the validity of the person's identifying information before publishing the advertisement. Any candidate clearly identified in the advertisement is entitled to the name of the person who submitted the advertisement after the publication of the advertisement in the newspaper, magazine, or periodical.

C. Any such owner, proprietor, editor, manager, officer, clerk, agent, reporter, or employee violating the provisions of subsection A or B shall be subject to a civil penalty not to exceed $50; and, in the case of a willful violation, he shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. The procedure to enforce the civil penalty provided in this section shall be as stated in Article 8 (§ 24.2-953 et seq.) of Chapter 9.3.

Code 1950, § 24-406; 1952, c. 4; 1970, c. 462, § 24.1-276; 1991, c. 709; 1993, c. 641, § 24.2-1013; 2001, c. 747; 2002, c. 487; 2006, cc. 787, 892; 2008, c. 825.

§ 24.2-955.3. Penalties for violations of this chapter.

A. Any sponsor violating Article 2 (§ 24.2-956 et seq.) of this chapter shall be subject to (i) a civil penalty not to exceed $1,000; or (ii) in the case of a violation occurring within the 14 days prior to or on the election day of the election to which the advertisement pertains, a civil penalty not to exceed $2,500. In the case of a willful violation, he shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

B. Any sponsor violating Article 3 (§ 24.2-957 et seq.) or 4 (§ 24.2-958 et seq.) of this chapter shall be subject to (i) a civil penalty not to exceed $1,000 per occurrence; or (ii) in the case of a violation occurring within the 14 days prior to or on the election day of the election to which the advertisement pertains, a civil penalty not to exceed $2,500 per occurrence. In the case of a willful violation, he shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. In no event shall the total civil penalties imposed for multiple broadcasts of one particular campaign advertisement exceed $10,000.

C. Any person violating Article 5 (§ 24.2-959 et seq.) of this chapter shall be subject to a civil penalty not to exceed $2,500; and in the case of a willful violation, he shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. A violation of the provisions of Article 5 of this chapter shall not void any election.

D. The State Board, in a public hearing, shall determine whether to find a violation of this chapter and to assess a civil penalty. At least 10 days prior to such hearing, the State Board shall send notice by certified mail to persons whose actions will be reviewed at such meeting and may be subject to civil penalty. Notice shall include the time and date of the meeting, an explanation of the violation, and the maximum civil penalty that may be assessed.

E. It shall not be deemed a violation of this chapter if the contents of the disclosure legend or statement convey the required information.

F. Any civil penalties collected pursuant to an action under this section shall be payable to the State Treasurer for deposit to the general fund. The procedure to enforce the civil penalties provided in this section shall be as stated in § 24.2-946.3.

2002, c. 487, §§ 24.2-943, 24.2-944; 2003, c. 237; 2004, cc. 55, 457; 2005, c. 369; 2006, cc. 787, 892; 2010, c. 546.

Article 2. Print Media Advertisement Requirements.

§ 24.2-956. Requirements for print media advertisements sponsored by a candidate campaign committee.

It shall be unlawful for any candidate or candidate campaign committee to sponsor a print media advertisement that constitutes an expenditure or contribution required to be disclosed under Chapter 9.3 (§ 24.2-945 et seq.) unless all of the following conditions are met:

1. It bears the legend or includes the statement: "Paid for by ________ [Name of candidate or campaign committee as it appears in the statement of organization]." Alternatively, if the advertisement is supporting a candidate who is the sponsor and the advertisement makes no reference to any other clearly identified candidate, then the statement "Paid for by ________ [Name of candidate]" may be replaced by the statement "Authorized by ________ [Name of candidate]."

2. In an advertisement sponsored by a candidate or a candidate campaign committee that makes reference to any other clearly identified candidate who is not sponsoring the advertisement, the sponsor shall state whether it is authorized by the candidate not sponsoring the advertisement. The visual legend in the advertisement shall state either "Authorized by [Name of candidate], candidate for [Name of office]" or "Not authorized by any other candidate." This subdivision does not apply if the sponsor of the advertisement is the candidate the advertisement supports or that candidate's campaign committee.

3. If an advertisement is jointly sponsored, the disclosure statement shall name all the sponsors.

4. (Effective until January 1, 2024) Any disclosure statement required by this section shall be displayed in a conspicuous manner in a minimum font size of seven point. The State Board of Elections shall promulgate standards for meeting the requirements of this subdivision.

4. (Effective January 1, 2024) Any disclosure statement required by this section shall be displayed in a conspicuous manner in a font size proportionate to the size of the advertisement. The State Board of Elections shall promulgate standards for meeting the requirements of this subdivision.

5. Any print media advertisement appearing in electronic format shall display the disclosure statement in a minimum font size of seven point; however, if the advertisement lacks sufficient space for a disclosure statement in a minimum font size of seven point, the advertisement may meet disclosure requirements if, by clicking on the print media advertisement appearing in electronic format, the viewer is taken to a landing page or a home page that displays the disclosure statement in a conspicuous manner.

2002, c. 487, § 24.2-943; 2003, c. 237; 2004, cc. 55, 457; 2005, c. 369; 2006, cc. 787, 892; 2012, c. 519; 2020, cc. 557, 615.

§ 24.2-956.1. Requirements for print media advertisements sponsored by a person or political committee, other than a candidate campaign committee.

It shall be unlawful for any person or political committee to sponsor a print media advertisement that constitutes an expenditure or contribution required to be disclosed under Chapter 9.3 (§ 24.2-945 et seq.) unless the following requirements are met:

1. It bears the legend or includes the statement: "Paid for by ________ [Name of person or political committee]."

2. In an advertisement supporting or opposing the nomination or election of one or more clearly identified candidates, the sponsor states whether it is authorized by a candidate. The visual legend in the advertisement shall state either "Authorized by [Name of candidate], candidate for [Name of office]" or "Not authorized by a candidate."

3. In an advertisement that identifies a candidate the sponsor is opposing, the sponsor must disclose in the advertisement the name of the candidate who is intended to benefit from the advertisement, if the sponsor coordinates with, or has the authorization of, the benefited candidate.

4. If an advertisement is jointly sponsored, the disclosure statement shall name all the sponsors.

5. (Effective until January 1, 2024) Any disclosure statement required by this section shall be displayed in a conspicuous manner in a minimum font size of seven point. The State Board of Elections shall promulgate standards for meeting the requirements of this subdivision.

5. (Effective January 1, 2024) Any disclosure statement required by this section shall be displayed in a conspicuous manner in a font size proportionate to the size of the advertisement. The State Board of Elections shall promulgate standards for meeting the requirements of this subdivision.

6. Any print media advertisement appearing in electronic format shall display the disclosure statement in a minimum font size of seven point; however, if the advertisement lacks sufficient space for a disclosure statement in a minimum font size of seven point, the advertisement may meet disclosure requirements if, by clicking on the print media advertisement appearing in electronic format, the viewer is taken to a landing page or a home page that displays the disclosure statement in a conspicuous manner.

2002, c. 487, § 24.2-943; 2003, c. 237; 2004, cc. 55, 457; 2005, c. 369; 2006, cc. 787, 892; 2012, c. 519; 2020, c. 557.

Article 3. Television and Certain Video Advertisement Requirements.

§ 24.2-957. General provisions; applicability to advertisements in video format.

A. Television outlets and online platforms shall not be liable under this article for carriage of political advertisements that fail to include the disclosure requirements provided for in this article. This provision supersedes any contrary provisions of the Code of Virginia.

B. If the sponsor does not have the option of controlling the audio, if any, heard during the television advertisement, the disclosure requirements shall be the same as for print media.

C. The person accepting an advertisement for a television outlet shall require, and for one year shall retain a copy of, proof of identity of the person who submits the advertisement for broadcast. Proof of identity shall be submitted either (i) in person and include a valid Virginia driver's license, or any other identification card issued by a government agency of the Commonwealth, one of its political subdivisions, or the United States, or (ii) other than in person, in which case, the person submitting the advertisement shall provide a telephone number and the person accepting the advertisement may phone the person to verify the validity of the person's identifying information before broadcasting the advertisement.

D. Any disclosure statement required by this article shall be displayed in a conspicuous manner.

E. An advertisement that is in video format and is placed or promoted for a fee on an online platform shall be subject to the same disclosure requirements to which television advertisements are subject pursuant to this article.

2002, c. 487, § 24.2-944; 2004, cc. 55, 457; 2005, c. 369; 2006, cc. 787, 892; 2020, c. 551.

§ 24.2-957.1. Requirements for television advertisements sponsored by a candidate or candidate campaign committee.

It shall be unlawful for any candidate or a candidate campaign committee to sponsor a television advertisement that constitutes an expenditure or contribution required to be disclosed under Chapter 9.3 (§ 24.2-945 et seq.) unless the following requirements are met:

1. It bears the legend or includes the statement: "Paid for by ____________ [Name of candidate or campaign committee as it appears on the statement of organization]." Alternatively, if the advertisement is supporting that candidate and the advertisement makes no reference to any other clearly identified candidate, then the statement "Paid for by ____________ [Name of sponsor]" may be replaced by the statement "Authorized by ____________ [Name of sponsor]."

The disclosure shall be made by visual legend, which shall constitute 20 scan lines in size. The content of these visual legends is specified by the Communications Act of 1934, 47 U.S.C. §§ 315 and 317 and this section.

2. If the advertisement sponsored by the candidate or the candidate campaign committee makes reference to another clearly identified candidate, it must include a disclosure statement spoken by the sponsoring candidate containing at least the following words: "I am ____________ (or 'This is ___________') [Name of candidate], candidate for [Name of] office, and I (or 'my campaign') sponsored this ad."

The candidate or the candidate campaign committee may provide the oral disclosure statement required by this section at the same time as the visual disclosure required under the Communications Act of 1934, 47 U.S.C. §§ 315 and 317, is shown.

3. The advertisement shall include throughout the disclosure statement an unobscured, full-screen picture containing the candidate, either in photographic form or through the actual appearance of the candidate on camera.

4. The candidate or the campaign committee may place the disclosure statement required by this section at any point during the advertisement, except if the duration of the advertisement is more than five minutes, the disclosure statement shall be made both at the beginning and end of the advertisement.

5. In its oral disclosure statement, the sponsor may choose to identify an advertisement as either supporting or opposing the nomination or election of one or more clearly identified candidates.

6. If an advertisement is jointly sponsored, the disclosure statement shall include the names of all the sponsors and the candidate shall be the disclosing individual. If more than one candidate is the sponsor, at least one of the candidates shall be the disclosing individual.

2002, c. 487, § 24.2-944; 2004, cc. 55, 457; 2005, c. 369; 2006, cc. 787, 892; 2020, c. 615.

§ 24.2-957.2. Requirements for television advertisements sponsored by a political committee.

It shall be unlawful for a political committee to sponsor a television advertisement that constitutes an expenditure or contribution required to be disclosed under Chapter 9.3 (§ 24.2-945 et seq.) unless the following requirements are met:

1. It bears the legend or includes the statement: "Paid for by _______________ [Name of political committee]."

2. A television advertisement supporting or opposing the nomination or election of one or more clearly identified candidates (i) shall include a disclosure statement, spoken by the chief executive officer or treasurer of the political committee, containing at least the following words: "The [Name of political committee] sponsored this ad."

3. If an advertisement is jointly sponsored, the disclosure statement shall include the names of all the sponsors and the disclosing individual shall be one of those sponsors.

4. The disclosure shall be made by visual legend, which shall constitute 20 scan lines in size.

5. The content of these visual legends is specified by the Communications Act of 1934, 47 U.S.C. §§ 315 and 317 and this section.

6. The political committee may provide the oral disclosure statement required by this section at the same time as the visual disclosure required under the Communications Act of 1934, 47 U.S.C. §§ 315 and 317, is shown.

7. The advertisement shall include throughout the disclosure statement an unobscured, full-screen picture containing the disclosing individual, either in photographic form or through the actual appearance of the disclosing individual on camera.

8. A political committee may place the disclosure statement required by this section at any point during the advertisement, except if the duration of the advertisement is more than five minutes, the disclosure statement shall be made both at the beginning and end of the advertisement.

9. In its oral disclosure statement, a political committee may choose to identify an advertisement as either supporting or opposing the nomination or election of one or more clearly identified candidates.

10. If the advertisement is jointly sponsored, the disclosure statement shall name all of the sponsors and the disclosing individual shall be one of those sponsors. This provision supersedes any contrary provisions of the Code of Virginia.

2002, c. 487, §§ 24.2-943, 24.2-944; 2003, c. 237; 2004, cc. 55, 457; 2005, c. 369; 2006, cc. 787, 892.

§ 24.2-957.3. Requirements for television advertisements sponsored by a person that is not a candidate campaign committee or political committee.

A. It shall be unlawful for a person to sponsor a television advertisement that constitutes an expenditure or contribution required to be disclosed under Chapter 9.3 (§ 24.2-945 et seq.) unless the following requirements are met:

1. If the sponsor is an individual, a disclosure statement spoken by the individual containing at least the following words: "I am [individual's name], and I sponsored this ad."

2. If the sponsor is a corporation, partnership, business, labor organization, membership organization, association, cooperative, or other like entity, a disclosure statement spoken by the chief executive officer containing at least the following words: "[Name of sponsor] paid for (or 'sponsored' or 'furnished') this ad."

B. In its oral disclosure statement, a person may choose to identify an advertisement as either supporting or opposing the nomination or election of one or more clearly identified candidates.

C. If an advertisement is jointly sponsored, the disclosure statement shall include the names of all the sponsors.

2002, c. 487, § 24.2-944; 2004, cc. 55, 457; 2005, c. 369; 2006, cc. 787, 892.

Article 4. Radio and Certain Audio Advertisement Requirements.

§ 24.2-958. General provisions; applicability to advertisements in audio format.

A. Radio outlets and online platforms shall not be liable under this article for carriage of political advertisements that fail to include the disclosure requirements provided for in this article. This provision supersedes any contrary provisions of the Code of Virginia.

B. The person accepting an advertisement for a radio outlet shall require, and for one year shall retain a copy of, proof of identity of the person who submits the advertisement for broadcast. Proof of identity shall be submitted either (i) in person and include a valid Virginia driver's license, or any other identification card issued by a government agency of the Commonwealth, one of its political subdivisions, or the United States, or (ii) other than in person, in which case, the person submitting the advertisement shall provide a telephone number and the person accepting the advertisement may phone the person to verify the validity of the person's identifying information before broadcasting the advertisement.

C. Any disclosure statement required by this section shall be communicated in a conspicuous manner.

D. An advertisement that is in audio format and is placed or promoted for a fee on an online platform shall be subject to the same disclosure requirements to which radio advertisements are subject pursuant to this article.

2002, c. 487, § 24.2-944; 2004, cc. 55, 457; 2005, c. 369; 2006, cc. 787, 892; 2020, c. 551.

§ 24.2-958.1. Requirements for radio advertisements sponsored by a candidate or candidate campaign committee.

It shall be unlawful for a candidate or a candidate campaign committee to sponsor a radio advertisement that constitutes an expenditure or contribution required to be disclosed under Chapter 9.3 (§ 24.2-945 et seq.) unless all of the following requirements are met:

1. The advertisement shall include the statement "Paid for by ______ [Name of candidate or candidate campaign committee as it appears on the statement of organization]." Alternatively, if the advertisement makes no reference to any clearly identified candidate other than the candidate who is sponsoring the advertisement or whose campaign committee is sponsoring the advertisement, then the statement "Paid for by ______ [Name of candidate or candidate campaign committee as it appears on the statement of organization]" may be replaced by the statement "Authorized by ______ [Name of candidate or candidate campaign committee as it appears on the statement of organization]."

2. If the advertisement supports or opposes the election or nomination of a clearly identified candidate other than the sponsoring candidate or supports or opposes the election or nomination of the sponsoring candidate and makes reference to another clearly identified candidate, it must include a disclosure statement spoken by the sponsoring candidate containing at least the following words: "I am (or 'This is ______ ') [Name of candidate], candidate for [Name of office], and this ad was paid for by (or 'sponsored by' or 'furnished by') [Name of candidate or candidate campaign committee as it appears on the statement of organization]."

3. The disclosure statement shall last at least two seconds and the statement shall be spoken so that its contents may be easily understood. The placement of the oral disclosure statement shall also comply with the requirements of the Communications Act of 1934, 47 U.S.C. §§ 315 and 317.

4. In its oral disclosure statement, the candidate or the candidate campaign committee may choose to identify an advertisement as either supporting or opposing the nomination or election of one or more clearly identified candidates.

5. If an advertisement is jointly sponsored, the disclosure statement shall include the names of all the sponsors and the candidate shall be the disclosing individual. If more than one candidate is the sponsor, at least one of the candidates shall be the disclosing individual.

2002, c. 487, § 24.2-944; 2004, cc. 55, 457; 2005, c. 369; 2006, cc. 787, 892; 2020, c. 615.

§ 24.2-958.2. Requirements for radio advertisements sponsored by a political committee.

It shall be unlawful for a political committee to sponsor an advertisement that constitutes an expenditure or contribution required to be disclosed under Chapter 9.3 (§ 24.2-945 et seq.) unless the following requirements are satisfied:

1. A radio advertisement supporting or opposing the nomination or election of one or more clearly identified candidates (i) shall include a disclosure statement, spoken by the chief executive officer or treasurer of the committee, containing at least the following words: "This ad was paid for (or 'sponsored by' or 'furnished by') [Name of political action committee]." (ii) The disclosure statement shall last at least two seconds and the statement shall be spoken so that its contents may be easily understood. (iii) The placement of the oral disclosure statement shall also comply with the requirements of the Communications Act of 1934, 47 U.S.C. §§ 315 and 317.

2. In its oral disclosure statement, a political committee may choose to identify an advertisement as either supporting or opposing the nomination or election of one or more clearly identified candidates.

3. If the advertisement is jointly sponsored, the disclosure statement shall name all of the sponsors and the disclosing individual shall be one of those sponsors.

2002, c. 487, § 24.2-944; 2004, cc. 55, 457; 2005, c. 369; 2006, cc. 787, 892.

§ 24.2-958.3. Requirements for radio advertisements sponsored by a person that is not a candidate or political committee.

A. It shall be unlawful for a person to sponsor an advertisement that constitutes an expenditure or contribution required to be disclosed under Chapter 9.3 (§ 24.2-945 et seq.) unless the following requirements are met:

1. Radio advertisements purchased by an individual supporting or opposing the nomination or election of one or more clearly identified candidates shall include a disclosure statement spoken by the individual containing at least the following words: "I am [individual's name], and I sponsored this ad."

2. Radio advertisements purchased by a corporation, partnership, business, labor organization, membership organization, association, cooperative, or other like entity supporting or opposing the nomination or election of one or more clearly identified candidates shall include a disclosure statement spoken by the chief executive of the sponsor containing at least the following words: "[Name of sponsor] paid for (or 'sponsored' or 'furnished') this ad."

B. In its oral disclosure statement, a person may choose to identify an advertisement as either supporting or opposing the nomination or election of one or more clearly identified candidates.

C. If an advertisement is jointly sponsored, the disclosure statement shall include the names of all the sponsors.

2002, c. 487, § 24.2-944; 2004, cc. 55, 457; 2005, c. 369; 2006, cc. 787, 892.

Article 5. Campaign Telephone Call Requirements.

§ 24.2-959. Requirements for campaign telephone calls sponsored by a candidate or candidate campaign committee.

It shall be unlawful for any candidate or candidate campaign committee to make campaign telephone calls without disclosing, before the conclusion of each telephone call, information to identify the candidate or candidate campaign committee who has authorized and is paying for the calls unless such call is terminated prematurely by means beyond the maker's control.

The person making the telephone call shall disclose the name of the candidate.

It shall be unlawful for any candidate or candidate campaign committee making campaign telephone calls to intentionally modify the caller identification information of any campaign telephone call for the purpose of misleading the recipient as to the identity of the caller. If the call is made from an automatic dialing-announcing device and caller identification information includes a name associated with the telephone number, then the caller identification information shall include either the name of the candidate or candidate campaign committee as it appears on the statement of organization that has authorized and is paying for the calls, or the vendor conducting the calls on behalf of the candidate or candidate campaign committee. "Automatic dialing-announcing device" means the same as that term is defined in § 59.1-518.1.

It shall also be unlawful (i) for any candidate or candidate campaign committee who contracts for campaign telephone calls to fail to provide to the persons making the telephone calls the identifying information required by this section or (ii) for any person to provide a false or fictitious name or address when providing the identifying information required.

2000, c. 874, § 24.2-1014.1; 2006, cc. 787, 892; 2010, c. 323; 2020, c. 615.

§ 24.2-959.1. Requirements for campaign telephone calls sponsored by a political committee or person other than a candidate or candidate campaign committee.

It shall be unlawful for any person or political committee to make campaign telephone calls without disclosing, before the conclusion of each telephone call, information to identify the person or political committee who has authorized and is paying for the calls unless such call is terminated prematurely by means beyond the maker's control.

The person making the telephone call shall disclose the following identifying information: the name of the political committee if the calls are authorized by that committee or an agent of that committee; and in the case of a committee that has filed a statement of organization under Chapter 9.3 (§ 24.2-945 et seq.), the full name of the committee and a registration number provided by the State Board; or in any other case, the full name and residence address of the individual responsible for the campaign telephone calls.

It shall be unlawful for any person, corporation, or political committee making campaign telephone calls to intentionally modify the caller identification information for the purpose of misleading the recipient as to the identity of the caller. If the call is made from an automatic dialing-announcing device and caller identification information includes a name associated with the telephone number, then the caller identification information shall include either the name of the person, corporation, or political committee that has authorized and is paying for the calls or the vendor conducting the calls on behalf of the person, corporation, or political committee. "Automatic dialing-announcing device" means the same as that term is defined in § 59.1-518.1.

It shall also be unlawful (i) for any person who contracts for campaign telephone calls to fail to provide to the persons making the telephone calls the identifying information required by this section or (ii) for any person to provide a false or fictitious name or address when providing the identifying information required.

2000, c. 874, § 24.2-1014.1; 2006, cc. 787, 892; 2010, c. 323.

Article 6. Online Political Advertisements.

§ 24.2-960. Identification and certification by online political advertisers.

A. Prior to purchasing an online political advertisement from or promoting an online political advertisement on an online platform, a person shall identify himself to the online platform as an online political advertiser and certify to the online platform that he is permitted under state and local laws to lawfully purchase or promote for a fee online political advertisements.

B. An online platform shall establish reasonable procedures to enable online political advertisers to comply with the identification and certification requirements of subsection A.

C. An online platform may rely in good faith on the information provided by online political advertisers under this section when selling online political advertisements to online political advertisers.

2020, c. 551.