How to Stop Political Texts

Election-related spam texts are annoying no matter how you vote

You can't hide from political texts

Clem Onojeghuo/Unsplash

Political texts have become a serious irritant as the election season heats up, even though blasting mass texts to lots of people's cell phones is illegal. The first time you got a political text, you were probably shocked and wondered, "Why am I getting spam text messages?" You didn't opt in for this. And you don't want them. If you're one of the unlucky people getting pelted by them, it will get worse as the election nears. You need to know how to stop political texts.

Are Spam Political Texts Illegal?

Technically, campaigners aren't doing anything illegal here. They're not blasting one text to groups of people at once, rather this is one person sending you one text, which is completely legal. Even though the campaigner is using a peer-to-peer texting app that makes it possible for him to send 1,500 voting text messages in an hour.

How Do You Stop Election Texts?

There is no registry for this that will stop spam texts, as the campaigns are already bypassing that regulation by using peer-to-peer apps to communicate one-on-one with voters.

Type STOP to get off of this campaigners list
Type STOP to get off of this campaigners list.

But there is a simple solution. Just type "STOP" into the reply section of your messaging app and send it back to the person who texted you. You'll receive a message stating you've been removed from their list.

Will All Political Texts Stop Now?

That's all you have to do to get off of this campaigner's list. Unfortunately, this strategy is unlikely to stop the political texts altogether and will only stop that individual campaign from texting you.

An emerging industry of peer-to-peer apps is helping campaigners reach voters in one of the only ways left to them that is effective. And this is only likely to get worse as more campaigns adopt them because it's become increasingly difficult to reach voters in other ways.

Voters have learned to ignore political ads, delete emails, and shut down social media ads they don't want to see.

Texting is the one method of communication most people consider vital and personal. The very reason you don't want political campaigns to reach you this way is the very reason they want to use this method. You look at your texts almost immediately when they arrive, and you're much more likely to respond to a text than to another form of communication.

Is There a Do-Not-Text Registry?

Unfortunately, there's no "do not call" registry that will stop one person from texting you directly. And that's the loophole that allows campaigners to use an app that makes it possible for them to send a text every second directly to voters' phones.

Get Thru is an app that helps campaigns manage peer-to-peer texts

There are quite a few of these apps available to campaigners. Get Thru is one that allows a campaign manager to upload a list, create a message, divide the texting work among many campaigners, and track how it all goes. Apps like this are designed to allow a team of employees to communicate one-on-one via text with many customers or voters at once.

How to Stop Political Texts By Blocking the Number

You might find it easier to block the number than to respond with a STOP message. There are various ways to do so on both iOS and Android. Again, this will only stop this one campaigner.

Block a Caller on Android Using the Textra Messaging App

If you have an Android phone, you have lots of options for messaging apps. So the method varies slightly by app.

Here is how to block spam texts in the popular Textra Messaging app.

  1. Open the text from the spammer and tap the down arrow next to their number. That will bring up some customization options.

  2. Tap the three dots icon at the top of the screen, then tap Blacklist.

    Options arrow, Blacklist options on Android Text app
  3. All the text from this person will disappear and you won't see any more texts from them. If you want them back you can unblacklist them and the texts will return.