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Bill to stop candidates' 'robo-calls' during elections

Do Not Call lists don't apply to automated political calls from the likes of Robert Redford and Diane Feinstein. A New York legislator wants to ban them in one state at least.
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Written by Richard Koman on

Many states have adopted "Do Not Call" laws that prevent marketers from calling consumers who put their names on government-run lists. But automated calls from politicians and pollsters have been exempt from these laws, as you may have noticed during the last election.

In response to this proliferation, a proposal to stop these "robo-calls" is making its way through the New York Legislature, reports the Daily Herald.

State Rep. Jack Franks, a Woodstock Democrat, feels that these calls are intrusive and is calling on state legislators to prevent now-exempt organizations from making such calls. He said that politicians adhere to a double standard and that if politicians cared enough to pass a "do not call" list for telemarketers, so they should care enough to subject themselves to the same rules.

The Pew Internet and American Life Project conducted a survey recently and found that nearly two out of three voters across the country received the loathed calls in the days and weeks leading up to last November's elections.

Franks' proposal would effectively eliminate automated calls, but Franks said it wouldn't stop candidates and volunteers from personally calling to ask for support in an election.

"It's less confusing, especially for senior citizens, to talk to a real person," Franks said. His plan also would end a similar exemption enjoyed by charities.

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