Flood of campaign text messages leading up to Election Day
WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) – With the end of the 2022 midterm elections in sight, campaigns at all levels are working on their latest push.
It’s not just television ads and emails that fill inboxes. A stream of text messages is heading towards voters’ phones. Even if your phone number is on the do not call list, political organizations are exempt.
As was the case before the August primary, political organizations can sometimes use this to mislead voters, but it provides a quick and inexpensive way for campaigns to reach them.
While early voters are done with their civic duty, early voters will likely continue to hear about the campaigns until Election Day is behind us.
Early voter Mark Shobe said responding to campaign texts with a simple “no” message is enough to send the message that you “don’t want to hear this anymore” and that “people stop make fun of you”.
Shobe said he and his family are among those who get a lot of political text messages. And while he takes the steps to keep them from pouring in, he said he likes that candidates can use text messages as a tool, because he ultimately likes their voices to be heard when they plead for voters to vote for them. support.
Texting voters is becoming a more popular way for campaigns to interact with their constituents.
“If citizens are using technology to communicate with each other, then campaigns are going to communicate with them using it,” said Dr. Neal Allen, associate professor at Wichita State University and chair of the political science department. .
He said this was clearly seen in the run-up to the August vote on a constitutional amendment regarding abortion rights in Kansas.
“Creating the text message is almost free for a campaign. The real cost would be to get the phone numbers,” Dr Allen said.
This information gathering process may include voter registration records, which are public. The Better Business Bureau said if you want robocalls or political texting to stop, it’s up to you because of the Do Not Call List exemption.
“There should be an unsubscribe option to this text message. Or, if you know who is behind that text message, for example, the specific political organization that contacted you, you can contact them directly,” Kansas Better Business Bureau Vice President Denise Groene said.
If you have requested to be removed from a political organization’s list and you are still receiving calls and messages, you can file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at ftc.org. You can also change your phone settings to filter out incoming text messages from numbers that aren’t in your contacts.
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