Jun 28, 2022 - Politics

Nashville voters could get a settlement in robocall case

Illustration of Nashville City Hall with lines radiating from it.
Photo illustration: Allie Carl/Axios. Photo: Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

Registered voters in Davidson County may be entitled to a portion of a federal lawsuit settlement over unsolicited robocalls that went out in 2020.

  • Voters were encouraged in the robocalls to support the effort to recall Mayor John Cooper and some members of the Metro Council.

Why it matters: Unsolicited robocalls to cell phones are illegal in most instances under federal law.

Driving the news: A federal judge certified the class of individuals entitled to a part of the $1 million settlement agreement against recall champions Michelle Foreman and Karen Moore. School board member Rachael Anne Elrod was among the citizens who raised the issue and filed the lawsuit.

  • More information on claiming some of the settlement is available here.
  • "Our class action lawsuit alleged that Republican Party activists sent Nashville voters a robocall to influence our city’s elections," local attorney John Spragens tells Axios. "We are proud of the citizens who stood up to help us get this settlement on behalf of Nashville voters."

Flashback: The effort to recall Cooper and others arose in the early months of the pandemic when public backlash against government restrictions was the loudest.

  • Backers failed to garner the number of voter signatures needed to force a recall election, and the effort failed.
  • A separate effort by activists sought to undo the 34% property tax increase that passed that year and give voters the power to approve most future increases. A legal fight over that referendum is raging on and has made it all the way to the state Supreme Court.
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