AURORA, Colo. – It’s election season in Colorado and that means voters are being subjected to phone calls from various candidates and campaigns.
Because it’s an off-year election, the crush of calls, door visits and direct mail, isn’t as overwhelming as it was last year, during the Presidential election, but for many, it’s still frustrating.
“It’s bothersome,” said Aurora resident Katina Boahen. “You work hard all day, and you come home and just want to relax, and you’re bombarded.”
There may be relief soon.
Jon Haubert, of H.B. Legacy Media Company, has undertaken an initiative to try to cut back on the number of annoying phone calls and face to face contacts experienced by people who have already cast ballots.
It’s called the I Already Voted initiative.
The idea is that people who have already cast ballots can go to: http://www.ialreadyvoted.org
and fill in their name, date of birth and address.
“The candidates and campaigns will all have access to a list of those who have indicated they've already voted,” Haubert said. “This is an opportunity for (voters) to opt in and say I really don’t need any more of that.”
He said it makes sense for campaigns, or any business, to figure out who is more receptive to a message.
“You want to contact folks who haven’t voted yet,” he said. “So, it allows campaigns to operate in a more effective manner, where they can just speak to the folks they want to speak to.”
Haubert is testing the initiative in Aurora, because it’s the third largest city in Colorado, is demographically diverse, and has a municipal election with 20 candidates running for five council seats.
His goal is to perfect the program before next year’s election.
“I think everyone knows 2018 is going to be a big year for politics in Colorado,” he said. “We already have multiple candidates running for Governor on both sides of the aisle.”
He said Colorado has become a bellwether state, one that is becoming more important during election campaigns.
“In the Electoral College scheme of things, it may not count a lot, but we see it elsewhere,” he said. “It’s the hub of the Rockies.”
While many voters will jump at the chance to try to opt out of further phone calls once they’ve cast their ballots, there’s no guarantee that candidates or campaigns will take heed.
Haubert hopes that having a central database will make it easier for them to do so.
He also said the IAV Initiative has the potential to help deter voter fraud.
“If there are clusters of people who are indicating they have already voted and the Secretary of State hasn't received the ballots, that could become a matter for the Secretary of State or the Attorney General to look in to,” he said. “That could be a wonderful thing.”
Some voters may be leery about sharing information, no matter how limited.
Boahen told Denver7 that she worked for a company that was hacked.
She said she’d caution anyone about giving out information over the phone, or filling out forms with personal information.
“Other people will see it,” she said, “and you don’t know those other people.”
Haubert told Denver7 that birth dates and emails will be redacted from the database when he shares it with the candidates and campaigns.
"I don't want the IAV Initiative to turn into a list they can then go spam voters with later," he said.