Do Political Campaign Texts Violate Federal Robocall Laws?
With the Presidential election coming this November, many people are noticing a lot more texts coming in, often unwanted, from various political campaigns.
According to a report from KING-5 TV in Seattle, here's why, and what you can do about them.
According to information gathered by the TV station, The Democratic National Committee (DNC) for example, buys lists of cellphone numbers, said to be in the tens of millions. They are then provided to the various campaigns, mostly national. They told KING-5 their goal is to eventually get a number for every registered voter in America. Even some state and regional campaigns utilize the same tactics, for larger Initiatives and Referendums.
These numbers are then flooded with text messages. Now, you might think these are illegal, regardless of who is sending them. But because of a 'human' loophole, they apparently don't violate Federal Robocall statutes. Federal law regulates messages that are automatically generated and sent by a computer, or 'robot.'
Because a human (campaign volunteer) is actually pushing the 'send' button, it's not considered a 'robotext.' These campaigns have digital programs that can have thousands of numbers loaded at a time, then one click and they're sent. Most campaigns who were contacted for this report said they do not send messages after 9PM in their respective time zones.
KING-5 says they've learned the Bernie Sanders campaign has 12,000 volunteers texting perspective voters, and using computers to track all the data. The report also says campaigns can utilize information from public voter databases, which has brought a lot of negative response from citizens.
According to KING-5, officials with the Washington state Secretary of State's office (who oversees elections) do not publicly sell or publish phone numbers of people who've registered to vote or live here. WA state voter numbers are not made available to campaigns or any parties.
How to get rid of them? KING-5 says like with most robospam, you can text back "stop", "remove from list" or any other standard rejection.
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