Tired of Political Robocalls? Join The Club

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RENO, NV - Face it. The campaigns are pounding us like never before. Committed or undecided, voters can't avoid the onslaught.

"You get it on TV constantly," says one disgusted voter, Virgil Parker of Lemmon Valley. "But you know that's what the off button's for."

When it comes to telephones however, it isn't so easy. Parker says he's been getting them as early as 8 a.m. and as late as 10 p.m.

"You know if I was to call them as much as they call me , I'd be in jail for harassment."

They're nothing new, but this form of computerized mass marketing is a favorite low cost way of engaging, and maybe enraging, the potential voter.

Political operatives say they use them because they work, even if they risk backlash.

It's not just the national campaigns, local candidates are doing it too.

If this was a telemarketer you could block their calls by getting on a no call list. There's no such thing when it comes to politics. This is considered political speech and with just a few exceptions it's constitutionally protected.

State law does offer a protection of sorts. You can ask the voter registrar to list you as a confidential voter.

Campaigns get your information from registration records, which are public, but the confidential voter status keeps that part of your information from being circulated.

"So, on any list we generate we're not allowed to tell anybody what their address is, we're not allowed to tell anyone what their phone number is," says Washoe County Voter Registrar Dan Burk who says 7,000 voters here have chosen that option.

He quickly adds though, that any relief won't be immediate because it's likely all the campaigns this time around already have that information.

"In time it will make a difference though."

There's one other option. Go to the Secretary of State's website and click on a box that enrolls you in a "Please Don't Call List."

It may or may not help since in relies on the campaigns honoring your wishes.

"We've had limited success," says Secretary of State Ross Miller.

Both men say robocalls and negative advertising are the most common complaints heard during election years.

Though there is concern they are voters off on the election process, neither expects them to impact voter turnout on election day.

In the meantime, there's little respite and for some November 6 can't come soon enough.

To sum up:

Two alternatives for avoiding robocalls:
1. A written, signed statement to the County Clerk or Voter Registrar requesting you be considered a "confidential voter."
Send to: Washoe Co. Voter Registrar
P.O. Box 11130
Reno, Nevada 89520
or fax: 328-3747
Note: This will get you off lists for future election cycles. It's likely they already have this information this time around.

2. Go to the Secretary of State's website www.nvsos.gov and click on the "Please don't call" button
Note: It's still up to the campaigns to honor your wishes