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Campaigns using apps to push out annoying robocalls, robotexts

(Pixabay Photo)

PHOENIX — Political parties and campaigns are sending annoying robocalls and texts using special apps that help them skirt laws, according to a Phoenix attorney.

Phoenix political law and constitutional attorney Kory Langhofer said it is one way for the campaigns to get around the law that prohibits robodialing of text messages on cellphones.

“The app will cue up the phone number for the voter. It’ll prewrite the message for the voter. You just have to hit a button and send it,” he said.

Langhofer said humans play a role in distributing the messages and skirting the law.

“There’s a person pressing a button, even though a computer is doing most of the work by writing the text message and filling in the number of the voter they are trying to reach,” he said.

Langhofer said that for now, there’s not much that can be done to stop the incessant calls and texts, many of which seem to arrive right about the time you are sitting down for dinner.

“If someone is worried about just stopping the text messages they are getting between now and election day, there is virtually nothing you can do,” he said.

“If you add your name to the ‘do not call’ list it won’t stop this, because the ‘do not call’ list applies to commercial callers.”

Langhofer said this is the first election cycle featuring this sort of mass texting.

And for voters to get future relief, Langhofer said it will likely take action from Congress.

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