This political season, the campaigns know the easiest way to reach you is through your phone, so you might be noticing more phone calls, emails and text messages.
“If there is a screen in front of you the campaigns are going to use it to reach you ... whether it’s television, social media, right through your phone through text messages,” said Richard Longoria, a government professor at Cameron University.
Texts are particularly potent because the average American checks their phone about 100 times per day. Now local and national campaigns are increasingly relying on texts to get their messages out.
Some are even calling this year “the texting election.”
The Trump campaign alone said it will send out more than a billion text messages by Election day.
Now, texts from both political parties are flooding phones for voters who never signed up to receive them.
“Unfortunately, at some point, you probably unwittingly gave up your information,” said Roger Cheng from CNET.
Whether it was for a survey, service, or retailer, often that data is sold to third parties including campaigns that match it up with public voter information.
As long as there is a human on the other end, unsolicited texts are legal.
- Read: U-M election security expert: Five ways to keep your vote secure
- Read: What to know before voting in General Election in Michigan on Nov. 3, 2020
However, people can try to opt out of getting the messages.
“It’s actually fairly easy. If you get a text message that you don’t want, just reply “stop” and they are obligated to stop sending you messages going forward,” said Cheng.
However, that doesn’t guarantee you won’t continue to get text messages coming from different numbers.
The Better Business Bureau says beware of texts soliciting campaign contributions because you can’t be certain the money is going to the candidate you want. BBB recommends not responding to the text message, instead look up the candidate’s website yourself and contribute that way.