PHOENIX — For the first time, people are reporting getting text messages from political parties and campaigns on the cell phones, asking them who they're voting for and reminding them of the upcoming midterm election on Nov. 6.
Most seem to follow a script, but most start out asking if they have the right number. Then a volunteer introduces themselves and tells you about something political. One message, sent to an 12 News staffer's family member, pointed out that while your vote is secret, whether you vote is not, and they noticed he missed an election.
Online, people are calling the texts intrusive. So what can you do about it?
Political Do Not Call List?
It turns out, there is no Do Not Call List for political campaigns or parties. It's actually written into the National Do Not Call List— politics is exempt.
So even if it costs you money to get texts, you can't opt out of them.
Where Did They Get My Number?
According to "Jessica", the volunteer who texted me, she got my number from the public voter database through the Arizona Secretary of State's Office.
A spokesman said that database is public, and campaigns usually get access to it. You can try to register to vote without a phone number, but the spokesman said to keep in mind political groups sometimes buy phone lists, whether they're voters or not. So it's possible you may end up on the call roster anyway.
So we can verify that there's no way to opt out of the new campaign strategy of texting you directly.