How to Block Political Robocalls

It's time to stop this robocall nonsense, seriously, you just lost my vote

A man on an annoying phone call.

Dave and Les Jacobs / Getty

As the election year ramps up, so does political spending to try to influence who you're going to vote for. Campaigns spend hundreds of billions of dollars on attack ads, yard signs, pamphlets, and of course robocalls. 

Even the mere utterance of the word "robocall" conjures to mind interrupted dinners at home or random calls to your cell phone from unknown numbers. These calls are basically just answering machine calls that dial your number and then read some kind of canned statement to you from one politician trying to garner your vote or perhaps trying to slander other candidates.

According to an article in Real Simple magazine, campaigns often get your phone number from voter registration roles. This is one of the main ways your numbers gets in the hands of the pollsters and politicians. 

You might think that the National Do Not Call Registry would prevent these type of calls, but it doesn't appear to affect political calls.

So, How Can You Block Political Robocalls?

Don't provide Your Phone Number During Voter Registration (it's optional in many states)

One strategy for reducing the number of political calls and survey calls you receive is to not list your phone number when you register to vote. According to the article, most states only require you to list your street address when you register, listing your phone number is optional in most cases. Leave it out if you don't have to provide it so that you don't get added to the list of numbers that politicians have access to.

Use a Free Robocall Blocking Service

If you have a landline that uses Voice Over IP technology (VoIP) or you otherwise have a phone that is VOIP-enabled, then you can use a Robocall Blocking Service such as NoMoRobo (for cell phones try Truecaller).

These services use the simultaneous ring feature of your VoIP service to intercept the Caller ID information and answer unwanted calls for you, effectively hanging up on those calls before they make it through to your real phone line. You may hear one ring and then silence or you may never hear a ring from the robocall at all.

If Your Phone Provider Doesn't Work with NoMoRobo, Get a Google Voice Number

Even if your provider isn't listed you can obtain a Google Voice number or port your land line number to a Google Voice Number and then you'll be able to use NoMoRobo and also have access to Google Voices other great features. Check out our article on Using Google Voice to Enhance Your Privacy for some other great tips on using Google Voice.

Use The Anonymous Caller Rejection and Call Screening Features Offered By Your Phone Company (if available.

If you have a landline, chances are, your phone company provides you with some modern calling features such as Anonymous Call Rejection. Setting this feature up may call for a visit to your telephone provider's website to learn how to turn the feature on. Set up usually involves typing in a few commands on your phone's keypad to enter the feature's setup mode.

Anonymous call rejection typically forces the caller to reveal their identity by either revealing their real caller ID information or stating their name after being prompted for it.

Hopefully, the above tactics coupled with the fact that the election season will be over soon will leave you with less of these kinds of calls. If all else fails, just hang up or don't answer.