ATLANTA — If there’s a hot political race somewhere in Georgia, you probably won’t escape it just because you live somewhere else miles and miles away.
At one point there were 14 candidates, and 11Alive Insider Lyrical Flow was inundated with texts and phone calls from the campaigns. She took to Facebook to point out that the candidates were wasting their time.
“I’ve never lived in Atlanta,” she wrote. “I’ve never voted in Atlanta.”
She wanted to know why the candidates would call and text so often when she’s not an Atlanta voter.
Some voting information about you is public record. Campaigns can get your address, race, gender, and the last time you voted by going to Georgia’s Secretary of State.
Joseph Watson of University of Georgia's Grady College of Journalism tells us political campaigns then turn to data collection firms to get even more information, like your phone number.
“You go to a store, you complete a survey, if you’re on Facebook and like certain products, that can be added to that kind of data,” Watson said. “It’s all out there.”
Data firms use multiple resources, including the Census, to collect information about you then provide it to campaigns.
Let’s say at one time, you had a phone number with a 404 area code. That’s a sign that you might, possibly be a voter in the city of Atlanta.
Even if there’s a chance you may not be, candidates in the city are likely going to reach out.
“We don’t think they’re there, but they still could be,” Watson said. “Therefore, we’re going to do it. Campaigns would rather oversample and over target rather than under sample.”
Remember, the do not call registry doesn’t apply to political campaigns as long as it’s a person calling or texting your cell phone, and aren’t computer-generated robocalls or texts.