A campaign volunteer contacted me about my voting choices for this November election... which wouldn’t be noteworthy hadn’t he addressed me by my wife’s name.

When I asked about how they had associated that name with that phone number, I was told that that’s the information they got from the public voter registration list (which is not the case as when we registered, at different times and places, we both provided our own phone numbers).

When I asked more about it, he told me he was a volunteer and couldn’t give me that information. And when I insisted, I got a non-existing email address (possibly just a typo) to inquiry.

I know my phone number is associated with my wife’s name in some places (children school, doctor’s office) because my work schedule is more flexible and allows me to answer in case something happens, but definitely not in her voter registration (as she registered before meeting me).

How could a political campaign get that data association? Do I have the right to know the real source of my personal data?

  • 3
    AFAIK, phone numbers aren't private. Regardless, this isn't a politics question.
    – user1530
    Apr 16 '18 at 2:34
  • @blip I was doubting about asking here or in the Law site, I finally decided to put it here as it’s related to a political campaign and their data sources (although I can see how it’s a blurry thing). About the question itself, the issue is not that they contacted me (something almost expected during campaign periods) but that they contacted me thinking I was another person (related to me) and, when asked about it, they didn’t give an honest answer about their sources. Maybe I could rewrite the question to focus more on campaign data sources and if voters are allowed to review them. Apr 16 '18 at 3:00
  • 3
    Perhaps. But in the end, it's all marketing. Whether they're selling a candidate, or time shares. I'm not sure if there's anything unique in terms of figuring out your voters.
    – user1530
    Apr 16 '18 at 3:21
  • 1
    I would expect political campaigns to be subject to different regulations (electoral codes and laws) distinct to the ones that apply to a company selling time shares. Apr 16 '18 at 3:31
  • Although I think this question would be on topic for this site (it's a real problem related to a political process or campaign), if it could fit better in Law Stack Exchange, I'd be open to migrate it. Apr 16 '18 at 3:36

If the information trail to you starts with your registering to vote, or with anything that involves you giving your address to any semi-established organization, then this trail can be re-established with mail forwarding. The senders of the mail are notified whenever mail is forwarded (due to a move). This process of changing internal records to forwarded addresses (based on information provided by the postal service) has become automated in the recent years. It's entirely possible (even likely) that the volunteer simply didn't know about it (because it's a technical detail and he was simply manning a phone).

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