New Free Political Do Not Contact Registry Lets Voters Tell Politicians to Stop Calling Them at Home
Website Allows Voters to Opt Out of Receiving Political Calls
WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Voters can now take action to stop unwanted political calls by registering for free at, www.StopPoliticalCalls.org, launched today by the National Political Do Not Contact Registry (NPDNC). The non-partisan, non-profit organization is designed to stop politicians from calling voters at home, particularly with automated (or “robo”) calls.
The NPDNC fills a void in the Federal Trade Commission's National Do Not Call Registry (DNC). Because the First Amendment protects political speech, political calls are specifically excluded from the DNC. While Americans have registered nearly 150 million phone numbers with the DNC, Georgetown University research determined that 3 out of 4 voters do not know that political calls are exempt from the DNC. This gaping loophole has become a national problem. In the final weeks of the 2006 election, 64 percent of voters received recorded messages, according to the Pew Internet & American Life Project. Approximately 40 percent received between three and nine automated phone calls during the campaign.
“I started the registry to improve the quality of life for the average American during the election season,” said Shaun Dakin, founder and CEO of the NPDNC. “Many voters consider their homes to be a sanctuary and therefore consider calls from politicians and political groups to be invasive. That experience alone can turn people off from the entire electoral process. If the NPDNC can help significantly reduce political calls during the 2008 election, we will have delivered a significant win for the American family and for our political system overall.”
To sign up for the free service, voters simply visit www.StopPoliticalCalls.org and register their contact information. The organization will then notify political campaigns of the registrant's preferences.
If politicians and political campaigns fail to honor the voter requests, they risk losing votes. Because the NPDNC has no legal authority to regulate candidates' behavior, it must rely on the influence of large numbers of individuals to force the necessary change. The organization is asking the candidates to take a “Do Not Contact” pledge and promise not to call the numbers listed on the registry.
Market research conducted by the NPDNC during the summer of 2007 overwhelmingly confirms that U.S. voters want to stop candidates from abusing their right to political speech. Almost three-quarters of respondents said they are likely to sign up for a Political Do Not Contact Registry.
“There is currently a real lack of civil discourse in American politics that drives voters away from the political process and voting,” said Wilson R. Abney, Senior Partner of Ethics Counts, LLC, and a board member of Citizens for Civil Discourse (CCD), the parent organization of StopPoliticalCalls.org. “This registry is a great first step toward bringing back civil discussion in politics, and I believe it will encourage voters to once again become active participants in the political process.”
“What campaigns understand is numbers,” Dakin said. “The more voters who register with the NPDNC, the louder collective voice we will have to make sure they listen to us. While the organization cannot guarantee to stop unwanted calls, our goal is to reduce the volume of unwanted calls from an average of 10 per day to less than three. Ultimately, my goal is to increase voter participation in the political process by encouraging a civil dialogue between the public and politicians.”
Privacy and Security
The NPDNC takes an individual's right to privacy very seriously. All information provided by registrants will be shared only with the politicians who are being asked not to call. Absolutely no personal data will be sold to a third party without the registrant's express permission. The website is highly secure, using state-of-the-art data encryption with servers located in a secure environment that is monitored 24/7. Only screened and approved NPDNC employees are allowed access to the system.
About the National Political Do Not Contact Registry
The National Political Do Not Contact Registry is a program of Citizens for Civil Discourse (CCD), non-partisan non-profit organization (federal 501(c)(3) status pending) dedicated to elevating political discussion in the United States. CCD is based on the premise that the decline of civility in American political dialogue has diminished our nation's capacity to address urgent problems. Founder and CEO Shaun Dakin believes that citizen action is required to restore decency, respect and common sense to public debate in this country. CCD created the National Political Do Not Contact Registry as a first step towards its goal by reducing unwanted political phone calls, particularly automated messages (“robo” calls), which frustrate and annoy voters regardless of party and ultimately reduce political participation. Because the U.S. Constitution protects political speech, CCD advocates addressing this issue not by enacting new legislation but by encouraging voters to talk back and make free speech a two-way exchange. Learn more at www.StopPoliticalCalls.org.