Campaign texts surprise and annoy cell phone users

9NEWS @ 9. 10/26/2016

KUSA - Text messages are the hip way for candidates and causes to get your attention before you vote.

Based on what 9NEWS viewers told us on social media, it seems to be working, but it's annoying. 

Some say the texts caught them by surprise. They looked at the message, which seemed to be from someone they knew.

They weren’t.

Many of the texts said, "Can we count on you to vote...?"

Erienne Romaine found one on her cell phone the other day. 

Her text said, “Hey Erienne. I’m Fran, a volunteer working to help mobilize young voters... you should have gotten your and early voting locations are now open…”.

The text got her attention.

"The reason I think more and more campaigns are moving in that direction is that it's relatively inexpensive," MSU political science professor Norman Provizer said. "You can reach an enormous amount of people for a very small cost and it has a good penetration in a sense of people paying attention to your message.”

Emily Baker had some advice for the annoyed.

RELATEDWhy are you getting text messages from politicians?

"Just block their numbers," Baker said. "But it's annoying that they know my name and number and text over and over."

Provizer says campaigns get personal cell phone numbers from a number of places including lists that get passed around.   

The Colorado Secretary of State’s Office says in some cases, people put their number on their voter registration records and do not ask to keep it private.
Those lists are public information.

Romaine though, didn't mind the text asking if she'd vote. She replied yes, and got a reply from the random texter.

Provizer says in this case, the texting is free speech since they seem to be personal direct messages.

The state does not track them because they're not quite like robo-calls.

Copyright 2016 KUSA


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