The Independent Voter Network (IVN) suffers from a partial name collision with the self-styled “Independent Voter Research” (IVR) group that I recently complained was calling me every day. IVN has done a long posting on the mystery of who “Independent Voter Research” might be. Some of it is based on my experiences, but IVN also reports the following fun fact, of which I was not aware:
In Florida, there is a statute that specifically prohibits callers from stating that the call is from an entity that doesn’t exist.
Title IX, Chapter 106.147, paragraph 1(d) of the 2012 Florida Statutes states:
“No telephone call shall state or imply that the caller represents a nonexistent person or organization.”
The willful violation of this provision is considered a first degree misdemeanor. It is punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 or imprisonment of no more than a year.
(From the context, this applies at least to politically related mass calls, and probably to mass political polls also. I’m not sure it would necessarily apply more generally.)
As to the mystery itself, IVN too hit a brick wall:
No one has been able to confirm the existence of Independent Voter Research. There is very little evidence to support the claim it is a real polling agency. It has no website nor any online presence. The firm’s contact information is not listed. The only connection there is to the mysterious organization is an 866 number that only connects callers to an automated message.
Despite the inability to locate Independent Voter Research, no one has been able to conclusively link it to a campaign.
I’d say more “because of” than “despite”, but either way the group remains a mystery, and that last quoted sentence is a much better summary of the state of play than IVN’s headline “Secretive Phone Polling Firm Shows Ties to Romney Campaign”.