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How political campaigns get your information and flood your phone with texts

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) – Many voters are getting political texts on their cell phones and this election cycle, one is stirring up controversy.

Dale Strong and Casey Wardynski go head-to-head in this race for the 5th Congressional District House seat. On June 20, the night before the runoff, a text was sent out saying Donald Trump endorsed Wardynski.

It says former-President Trump endorses Wardynski and calls him, “the real conservative Alabama needs.”

Wardynski denies endorsement(Elizabeth Gregg)

About an hour and a half later, the Wardynski campaign denied sending the text. The official Facebook page for Wardynski’s campaign posted, “We are not aware of any new Trump endorsements in this race. Any texts on this topic did not come from the Wardynski campaign.”

This year, voters’ inboxes are being flooded with political texts without ever signing up for them. Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill says it’s really easy for political campaigns to get your information.

“Have you ever been to Walmart? Have you ever bought anything on Amazon? Have you ever indicated you have a preference for direct delivery to your home from any entity?” asked Merrill. “In any of those instances if you’ve ever introduced your phone number you just put your cell phone number on a public billboard and said ‘please call me.’”

All these messages leaving a lot of people feeling pretty negative.

“It doesn’t make me mad or anything like that but it does make me annoyed,” said Huntsville resident, Ken Davis.

“A little annoyed,” echoed Nathan Davis.

“It’s frustrating to the point where you’re like they could have at least asked or said hey do you want this?,” said Alabama voter Trey Vieau. “You don’t even get that option. It’s like I said just thrown into your face.”

Many say they’re getting multiple political texts a day.

“Probably three to five a day and a good fifty in the last month or two,” said Nathan Davis.

“I get hundreds and hundreds if not thousands you know you get them all the time, said Vieau. “You know once it’s alright but then after you’ve done it countless times you’re kind of like I’m tired of this, I’m fed up with it. It doesn’t matter who it is you just keep deleting them and keep trying to get rid of them.”

Merrill says campaigns pay a lot of money to get as much information about voters as possible. He thinks they do have some impact on voters. “Let me just say this if it didn’t work they wouldn’t use it,” said Merrill.

You can respond stop to most of these messages to keep them from coming in.

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