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Michael Toner Discusses Possible Election Law Implications of Pokémon Go

U.S. News & World Report
July 19, 2016

Michael E. Toner, co-chair of Wiley Rein’s Election Law & Government Ethics Practice, was quoted in an article published yesterday by U.S. News & World Report about the possible implications that the mobile game Pokémon Go may have on election law.

According to the article, the game’s developers have indicated that in-game advertising is headed to players’ screens, which in turn could be used to create political ads. Some observers have noted that if a campaign lured people to a location where they would see political ads, that could be considered electioneering.

Not so, Mr. Toner said, noting that personal devices like phones are considered private space and therefore not subject to electioneering laws. The player chooses to access the game on their own free will. However, Mr. Toner added that outdated election laws don’t properly account for modern technology.