Elections are (Almost) Upon Us!

Just a reminder we are getting closer to the 2020 elections. A question often asked is “when does a station have to offer equal opportunities?”  Providing equal opportunities to candidates begins when a person is certified as a candidate. Thus, the obligation to provide “equal” candidate opportunities may arise now.  It is not just limited to the time period right before an election.

Remember, while you must provide access to federal candidates, you need not do so for state and local candidates.  Nonetheless, if you offer one state or local candidate access, you must do so for other state and local candidates that are running for the same office.

Of course the Lowest Unit Rate period begins 45 days before a primary and 60 days before a general election.  For planning purposes the following are the key election dates for New York.

Presidential Primary     

  • Election Date: April 28, 2020
  • Lowest Unit Rate Period Begins: March 14, 2020

Primary for Congressional, State and Local Offices

  • Election Date: June 23, 2020
  • Lowest Unit Rate Period Begins: May 9, 2020

General Election – President and All Federal and State Offices

  • Election Date: November 3, 2020
  • Lowest Unit Rate Period Begins: September 4, 2020

Additional information including a primer on the FCC Political rules, as wells as NAB Political forms can be found on our website HERE.

A recent update has been prepared by noted FCC attorney David Oxenford.  His “primer” on the FCC’s election rules can be found by clicking HERE.

We are here to answer any questions you may have. Contact us at ddonovan@nysbroadcasters.org

 

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