Stop the political spam!
July 31, 2008 9:28 PM   Subscribe

When I registered to vote here in San Francisco I made the mistake of putting down my permanent forwarding email. Now I get a bunch of spam about candidates and initiatives. Is there a way to make it stop?

Apparently I'm not the only one. It seems there's some official database of voter information, which gets sold, and includes email addresses.

The messages aren't commercial, but they're still unwanted.

The emails include an "unsubscribe" link, which I use. Although I never hear from that specific issue / candidate again, I still get spammed by other issues / candidates.

Is there a way to take get my contact info off the list?
posted by CruiseSavvy to Law & Government (3 answers total)
It's not really a solution to the main problem, but this will keep the stuff out of your inbox.

Whenever I get repeated mail from somewhere I don't want to get mail from I'll set up a filter and have that stuff go either straight to spam, get deleted, or to a special folder and marked as read so I don't see a higher number than last time and go check that account only to find it's something like this.

Whenever I've used the unsubscribe link I tend to start getting more spam. Maybe that's just because I'm looking for it though. Hard to tell since spam comes to me in spurts to begin with.

With so many messages sent out, and with the ability to send to multiple people at the same time, it doesn't hurt to send the message to accounts that don't exist. Other than the "mail undeliverable" message, but they've probably got that one filtered anyway. Using the unsubscribe link confirms that your address is valid.
posted by theichibun at 9:50 PM on July 31, 2008

Best answer: This may not work, but I would recommend filling out another registration form and leaving your email off of it. The next time there's an election and they pull the records to start calling and emailing, your email address won't be on it.

It worked for me many elections ago when I had this problem with my phone number. I was advised to re-register without including that info, and when the next election cycle came around I didn't get a single phone call (and I haven't had one since).
posted by stefanie at 10:33 PM on July 31, 2008

Well, you can register as Decline-to-State (independent), but you won't get to vote on everything that a party-affiliated voter would. FWIW, I'm DTS, and don't feel like I've missed out on anything important. I also get hardly any spam, but it may take a couple years for you to fall off the rolls.
posted by oneirodynia at 9:41 AM on August 1, 2008

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