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Arizonans have 50 million campaign bot scripts this fall

Arizonans have 50 million campaign bot scripts this fall

Arizonans have 50 million campaign bot scripts this fall

Phoenix (Cronkite) – It’s not just elections that are heating up as campaign season enters in recent days – phones are also heating up with a deluge of political bot calls and bot texts.

Nearly 50 million political bot texts were sent to Arizona phones in September and October alone, according to the latest estimates by RoboKiller, a company that markets a spam-blocking app. She said Arizonans also got just over 1 million automated calls in the same period.

It was just a fraction of the 2.2 billion in bot texts and 53 million campaign bot calls sent nationwide in the same period.

“Political texting certainly appears to be here to stay as a mechanism for generating voter support and raising money from voters,” said Julia Porter, Vice President of Marketing at RoboKiller.

Arizona’s numbers were only good enough to rank 14th among states on texting and 19th on calls. But that was more than enough for Lexi King, a senior student studying social work at Arizona State University.

“It’s definitely annoying, although I love being politically active,” King said last month.

Calls and texts keep coming in despite the fact that the Federal Communications Commission considers most political bots illegal. under FCC regulations, Campaigns can send automated texts to anyone who chooses to receive them, or they can text voters manually, with the operator calling each recipient’s number instead of using auto-dial technology.

The RoboKiller data It showed that political bot texts in Arizona were relatively flat during the fall, with 24.3 million messages sent in September and 25.2 million texts sent in October. Automated calls fell from 653,660 in September to 360,030 in October.

But parties differed over how to communicate with voters, with Arizona Republicans three times more likely to use automated text, while Democrats twice as likely to turn to automated calls.

said Paul Bentz, a senior vice president at Arizona-based Highground Consultants.

Over the years, Bentz said he’s seen Democrats use more telephonic strategies than Republicans. That is still true this election season.

“When it comes to things like door-to-door banking and the phone, those methodologies have usually been more used by Democrats,” he said.

Elaine Kamark, a fellow in governance studies at the Brookings Institution, said that while the messages and calls can be annoying, they can also have a positive side if they encourage people to civic engagement.

“To some extent, automated calls remind voters to vote,” Kamark said. “Whether they can vote early or vote absentee, they are really positive.”

People who are sick of unwanted bot texts can send messages to the FCC at 7726 — or “spam” — or Make a complaint At fcc.gov/complaints. Arizona residents can also file a consumer complaint with the Arizona Attorney General’s Office at Submit a consumer complaint form.

But the end may be in sight with Election Day on Tuesday. And for those who can’t wait that long, Bentz has another suggestion.

“If you get tired of them,” he said, “I have the secret for you: bring back the ballot.” “The sooner you vote, the sooner you’ll be left alone.”

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