Some voters in the southern Young County say they are concerned over automated messages they received on election day. The voters said they were called to vote against a local option alcohol issue by one of the local churches. The Texas Ethics Commission and the Secretary Of States Office said there was nothing illegal about a church or any group speaking for or against an issue.
The IRS has very strict rules for tax exempt nonprofits, including churches, when it comes to elections. The law states that those organizations can take any stance behalf of or against any candidate for elective public office.
Oak Street Baptist Church Pastor Joe Finfrock said that he did help make the automated messages. Finfrock is also an active member of “Families For Graham Future”, a political action committee. Finfrock said the messages were done by his PAC.
"Every church receives all kinds of literature in election season on what is legal and not legal; what we're able to do. This is exactly within the guidelines of what a church is able to do which is to speak about moral issues. We did not endorse a candidate because it was not an issue of which candidate, it was a moral issue in our community," said Finfrock.
The question is whether or not the calls were made by the church or by the PAC. The IRS said it is looking into the issue, but there is a small possibility that the church could lose its tax exemption status if it was involved in making the calls.