You can always tell when it is an election year because the political surveyors begin calling for your opinion on one political matter or another. The Do Not Call Registry does not protect you from these types of survey calls but the nice part is that you know that as soon as the election is over, so are the phone calls. Using reverse phone lookup can give you the information that you need to contact the survey takers but by the time you get results, they will have stopped calling anyway.
Political surveys have been taken since 1824 when straw polls or mock elections were given to see the pre-election results of one candidate over another. In 1916, the Literary Digest introduced another way to predict election results. By using a sampling of their readers, they accurately called four presidential elections. The first loss, however, changed the way that people looked at the method of using only readers that were mainly affluent Republicans.
The year that the Literary Digest made a bad selection in a presidential candidate, another survey was making an appearance. George Gallup had set out to conduct a more scientifically based survey, using demographics as the measure. 1936 proved to put the Literary Digest with its biased members in the dead pile and the Gallup poll on top when Franklin D. Roosevelt defeated Alf Landon for president of the United States. Gallup continued with his method and spread into the United Kingdom in 1945, predicting a victory of the Labor Party over Winston Churchill's Conservative Party. By the 1950s, political surveying was a regular routine and has been used as a source of measuring the election climate since then.
Some of the most popular political survey companies in the United States are the Gallup poll, the Harris Poll, Ipsos, the National Opinion Research Center, Nielson ratings, Pew Research Center, Pew Research Center and Rasmussen Reports. If you receive a phone call from any of these organizations and check the origination with reverse phone lookup, you can rest assured that they are a national political surveying company and your answers will be used for statistical purposes only.
Questions in a political survey usually have to do with the most controversial subjects of the candidates. Many of the questions can be misleading or only provide a limited amount of answers to select from. If you take part in a survey and feel that your views are being contradicted by having to make a wrong decision, simply hang up. It is better to agree to nothing than to something that does not explain your opinion. You may even want to go a step further and use reverse phone lookup to report an injustice to your representative.
Very few countries restrict political poll taking by phone but some may prohibit a short term polling period right before the poll closes. There are ways that you can curve being bothered by political polls while trying to enjoy dinner or a favorite show.
A non-profit, non-partisan organization has started the National Political Do Not Contact (NPDNC) Registry in an effort to stop harassing Automated Rob calls. Rob calls are already outlawed in three states and the organization further distributes lists of citizens who have asked not to be bothered with calls from politicians or polling companies. While a Rob call may only provide a message stating a politician's opinion and asking for your vote, they are annoying and when politicians are asked to stop, you are often removed from polling lists also.
There is a federal law that upholds pre-recorded messages, regardless of the affiliation from cell phones and designated emergency lines. If you use reverse phone lookup and receive the name of the company making the call, contact them. Request that they desist from further contact or they will be reported to the FCC. Many times this threat will work but if it doesn't, you can bring legal suit against the company and receive up to $3,000, maybe more. Again, this could be a little time consuming and extreme for a practice that will surely end as soon as the polls close.
Political surveyors affect more than just your privacy at home. During the last mid-term election, many urban areas had severe call volumes on phone networks due to the increased political phone calls. This type of intrusion causes a massive amount of congestion and the networks are forced to re-route any regular traffic around the tied up lines. To date, no laws or legal action has been taken to slow down this type of manipulation of an entire phone service.
Political surveyors are paid to receive the majority or percentage opinion of an issue raised by a political party. You are under no obligation to participate or to answer questions that you are uncomfortable with. If you find that the phone calls are getting out of control, use reverse phone lookup and report the abuse and make your views known. If enough people band together, the message will be heard loud and clear.
However, as more and more citizens move toward cell phones that cannot be called, the role of the political surveyors may soon have to find a new avenue to take in receiving an accurate blending of opinions. It was found recently that most people that still have landlines are older and have families that leave out the younger crowd whose views are important. Give it enough time and maybe the calls will just disappear because you don't match the particular selection group targeted.
*This is not intended to be a thorough explanation of the law, nor does it attempt to offer legal advice. If you intend to make full use of this law, you should first consult an attorney. However you choose to use this information is with your full responsibility and at your own risk.