2022 Utah Code
Title 20A - Election Code
Chapter 11 - Campaign and Financial Reporting Requirements
Part 12 - Political Activities of Public Entities Act
Section 1205 - Use of public email for a political purpose.

Universal Citation: UT Code § 20A-11-1205 (2022)
Effective 5/12/2020
20A-11-1205. Use of public email for a political purpose.
  • (1) Except as provided in Subsection (5), a person may not send an email using the email of a public entity:
    • (a) for a political purpose;
    • (b) to advocate for or against a proposed initiative, initiative, proposed referendum, referendum, a proposed bond, a bond, or any ballot proposition; or
    • (c) to solicit a campaign contribution.
  • (2)
    • (a) The lieutenant governor shall, after giving the person and the complainant notice and an opportunity to be heard, impose a civil fine against a person who violates Subsection (1) as follows:
      • (i) up to $250 for a first violation; and
      • (ii) except as provided in Subsection (3), for each subsequent violation committed after the lieutenant governor imposes a fine against the person for a first violation, $1,000 multiplied by the number of violations committed by the person.
    • (b) A person may, within 30 days after the day on which the lieutenant governor imposes a fine against the person under this Subsection (2), appeal the fine to a district court.
  • (3) The lieutenant governor shall consider a violation of this section as a first violation if the violation is committed more than seven years after the day on which the person last committed a violation of this section.
  • (4) For purposes of this section, one violation means one act of sending an email, regardless of the number of recipients of the email.
  • (5) A person does not violate this section if:
    • (a) the lieutenant governor finds that the email described in Subsection (1) was inadvertently sent by the person using the email of a public entity;
    • (b) the person is directly providing information solely to another person or a group of people in response to a question asked by the other person or group of people;
    • (c) the information the person emails is an argument or rebuttal argument prepared under Section 20A-7-401.5 or 20A-7-402, and the email includes each opposing argument and rebuttal argument that:
      • (i) relates to the same proposed initiative, initiative, proposed referendum, or referendum; and
      • (ii) complies with the requirements of Section 20A-7-401.5 or 20A-7-402; or
    • (d) the person is engaging in:
      • (i) an internal communication solely within the public entity;
      • (ii) a communication solely with another public entity;
      • (iii) a communication solely with legal counsel;
      • (iv) a communication solely with the sponsors of an initiative or referendum;
      • (v) a communication solely with a land developer for a project permitted by a local land use law that is challenged by a proposed referendum or a referendum; or
      • (vi) a communication solely with a person involved in a business transaction directly relating to a project described in Subsection (5)(d)(v).
  • (6) A violation of this section does not invalidate an otherwise valid election.
  • (7) An email sent in violation of Subsection (1), as determined by the records officer, constitutes a record, as defined in Section 63G-2-103, that is subject to the provisions of Title 63G, Chapter 2, Government Records Access and Management Act, notwithstanding any applicability of Subsection 63G-2-103(22)(b)(i).


Amended by Chapter 22, 2020 General Session
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