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Can You Opt Out of Political Robocalls?

opt out of robocalls

Political robocalls nearly had us disconnecting our land line during the primary elections earlier this year. To make it worse, my husband and I are in different political parties, which meant the candidates from both sides were calling our house – every day, sometimes several times a day. So how can we make it stop? November elections are just around the corner and the calls are already starting up again.

Is it possible to opt out of political robocalls?

The National Do Not Call Registry was signed into law on March 11, 2003 and has been through several upgrades since then. Once registered on the National Do Not Call list, your number remains on the list permanently. But there are some exceptions.

The law does not apply to political organizations, non-profits, or pollsters. (There is some regulation in a few states like Wyoming and Arkansas.)  There have been some efforts to create a Do Not Call List for politicians and Citizens for Civil Discourse is among the most vocal. While they do have a sign-up list, it’s not backed by any law, and few politicians have signed on to participate. Campaigns often get phone numbers from voter-registration rolls, says Shaun Dakin, the founder of Citizens for Civil Discourse.  “So when you go to register or re-register, don’t give them your home- or cell-phone number or your e-mail address,” says Dakin. “Only your street address is required by law.”

Getting repeated robocalls from a candidate and want him to stop? “Call the politician’s campaign headquarters and say, ‘If you robocall me, I will not vote for you,'” says Dakin. Also, you can add your name to the National Political Do Not Contact Registry (stoppoliticalcalls.org). This non-profit, nonpartisan service founded by Dakin will send your name to local and national political parties, candidates, and political-action committees and ask them to voluntarily remove you from their phone lists. While this may not create instant quiet, it is designed to send a message to politicians constituents don’t like robocalls.

Your best course of action is to contact the candidate’s campaign headquarters and asked to be removed from their call list. It’s common practice among pollsters to keep an internal “Do Not Call” list. If you request they add you to the list and not call again, they will.  The Politics 1 website maintains a list of candidates by state and by office, and includes links to most candidates websites. Contact the ones in your state for which you’d like to be removed from the call list.