WASHINGTON — Just weeks away from a high stakes election, look no further than your phone for constant reminders, with some voters getting bombarded with political text messages almost every day.
- Political texting isn't new, but more campaigns getting on board
- Groups can find your phone number in several ways
- How do you stop the texts, some voters asking
- MORE: Decision 2018 | Voting Guide
This season, more candidates are turning to technology.
"In older elections, this was the time when your phone was constantly ringing off the hook at dinner and you couldn't escape it. Then we escaped it because we all got rid of our phones, and now since we can be texted instead, you’re getting text messages at dinner," said David Karpf, a George Washington University Professor who specializes in online/technology politics.
Political texting isn't new. Many Democratic campaigns utilized this strategy in 2016. However, now more campaigns are getting on board.
Behind some of those text messages this cycle are companies like RumbleUp. Founder Thomas Peters created a peer-to-peer texting platform that’s being utilized by campaigns across the country this cycle.
"It's increasing exponentially," Peters said.
"Peer to peer is really truly personal," he said. "It's a real human being sending a text message. We are focused on trying to find that right audience and find that right cell phone number.”
The big question is how do these groups find you? Most can get your number a variety of ways including your voter registration, your driver's license, even through other companies that make it available.
So, how do you stop getting these texts? You can vote early, or next time you register to vote, don't include your phone number or email. It's not required.
"They can tell individual campaigns, 'Please stop texting me.' The campaign should respond to them and stop texting them," Karpf said.
However, that doesn't mean the campaigns will stop sending those messages. Especially because statistics show the method actually does bring in votes.
"This is a pretty effective way of reminding voters that the election is coming up and inviting them to make a plan to vote on election day," Karpf said.