Elected officials using their status to get your vote
KENNEWICK, Wash.—The election is only days away, and many of us are still deciding our vote. How would you feel if a public employee was trying to influence your vote through e-mail?
After receiving e-mails sent by public employees discussing ballot measures, KNDU investigated how far is too far when it comes to elected officials using their status to get your vote.
According to the Public Disclosure Commission, public employees can use their personal e-mail to send opinionated e-mails regarding any election. However, they cannot use anything that is paid with tax money including a work computer, work e-mail address, or work time.
This law went into effect in the 70's through a voter's initiative. If a complaint is filed against a public employee, and the allegation has merit, they could pay up to $4,200.
In the case of the e-mails KNDU received, all employees had used their personal e-mail accounts.