Skip to contents
Elections
Free

To All the Campaigns I’ve Ghosted Before

A non-inclusive list of all the campaign texts I never answered (and the one I did).

Warped iPhone style campaign texts from Texas Democrats, Battleground Texas, Powered by People, and other organizations asking me if I'll vote for Biden, or if I'll support the Democratic party
Illustration by Samantha Grasso

Election campaign texts… We’ve all had a few.

I started getting mine as early as July, with Powered by People, the voter turnout organization launched by Beto O’Rourke after his failed presidential run, asking me if I was going to vote for Biden or Trump. There were a few texts in the primary and runoff season, but nothing of the galvanized force that I experienced this fall. Even while typing this, I just received a text for a city council person up for reelection.

Texas is a battleground state this year, I get it! But none of these campaign texts felt engaging. I didn’t answer them, because I didn’t want to.

I find it difficult to express my lack of enthusiasm for the Democratic party, and to desire to express it, when all I’m asked is, “Will you promise us the blood of your firstborn that you’ll vote for Democrats all the way down the ballot?” Nor did I care to read the essay-long paragraphs explaining a local candidate’s history in the area. Some campaign texts told me I could opt out by texting back STOP, but rarely. Others sent images of their campaign platforms, which felt far more inviting than being asked to sign up for a volunteer shift with Oprah.

The only time I ever replied was to a text from another Beto volunteer telling me that public records informed them that I had voted in 2018, but not 2016, goading me into questioning where they were getting this information. I had voted with an absentee ballot in 2016, and the text made me think that my vote in what felt like the most pivotal election of my short life, LOL, hadn’t been counted anyway. The volunteer texted me back saying they made a mistake (????) because their records can be incomplete (?????) and that was that.

The texts have continued even after I voted on Friday, though I thought they might stop after a volunteer called me on Saturday morning. Maybe it was because I had finally done it, but that method of conversation felt much more organic and appropriate — I had no problem telling her that I voted for Texas Democrats, and for Biden, and I didn’t feel like I was being begged for my allegiance.

The volunteer told me that, hopefully, my campaign texts would end — at least for Republican campaigns, which I don’t believe I’ve gotten this time around — but sure enough, Saturday night, I received another text telling me they were sorry I missed AOC while phone banking, but I could sign up with a shift with Zooey Deschanel if I wanted. I have a lot of empathy for these folks, I do, but I’m mostly wondering why campaigns haven’t figured out a better way to reach out to people via text that doesn’t feel clunky and intrusive.

Without further ado, here is a long but non-inclusive list of campaign texts I’ve received since July. (Full disclosure, my boyfriend and I donated $50 to Donna Imam’s campaign):

7/6/20, 4:50 PM

Hi Samantha, I’m Beth, a volunteer w/Powered by People following up on our earlier text. As a TX voter, will you vote for Trump/Pence or Biden/Harris?

8/15/20, 11:38 AM

Hi Samantha, this is Martha, a volunteer w/Powered by People. As a Texan, will you vote for Joe Biden or Donald Trump this November? If you prefer I don’t text you about this again, please reply stop or let me know.

8/26/20, 12:27 PM

Hi Samantha, I’m Beth, a volunteer w/Powered by People following up on our earlier text. As a TX voter, will you vote for Trump/Pence or Biden/Harris?

9/3/20, 12:17 PM

Hi Samantha – this is Ellen reaching out in support of Democrat Rep. James Talarico who is up for reelection in HD52. Can we count on your vote?

9/14/20, 12:50 PM

Hi Samantha, this is Nate, a volunteer w/Powered by People. We have 29 days until early voting. Will you support Donald Trump or Joe Biden?

9/21/20, 3:02 PM

Hi Samantha – this is Lara. I’m supporting Representative James Talarico (D) for reelection because I know Rep. Talarico will continue to serve all of HD52 and speak up for Texas families. Can Representative James Talarico count on your vote?

10/1/20, 2:33 PM

Hi Samantha. Representative James Talarico is the Democrat up for reelection in HD52. Can Rep. Talarico count on your vote in November?

10/7/20, 11:49 PM

Hi Samantha – it’s Gabriela w/Powered by People. Oprah, Bernie, Willie and others are joining Beto on Monday, Oct. 12th, at our Calling Texas phone bank – all we’re missing is you! Shifts begin at 10:30, 12:30, 2:30, 4:30 and 6:30CT. We really need your help – will you sign up for a shift?

10/9/20, 11:54 PM

Hi Samantha-just following up. I don’t want you to miss Monday’s virtual phone bank with Oprah, Bernie, Julian, Stacey and Willie! We also added a 9AM CT shift with Andrew Yang! Will you join Beto to get out the vote on Monday?

10/10/20, 3:39 PM

Hey Samantha  it’s Dorothy from Battleground Texas! Early voting starts this Tuesday October 13th! Have you made your plan to vote?

10/11/20, 3:58 PM

Hi Samantha! I’m Cara, a volunteer with the Texas Democrats. The election is right around the corner and I wanted to check in. Do you support Texas Democrats and Joe Biden?

10/12/20, 10:28 AM

Hi Samantha, this is Emilie with the WilCo Dems. Early voting starts Oct. 13. Can we count on you to vote for every Democrat all the way down the ballot?

10/18/20, 1:36 PM

Hi Samantha, this is Bob w/Powered by People. Early voting has begun and runs until Oct. 30. Can we count on you to vote early?

10/18/20, 6:08 PM

(An image asking people to vote early for Donna Imam)

Hey I’m Dan and I’m excited to vote Donna Imam for US Congress and Mike Gleason for Williamson County Sheriff! You can early vote right now until Oct 30th, check out the link to find your nearest location. Text STOP to opt-out

10/19/20, 7:25 PM

We have 1 more week of Early Vote left! Let’s elect a 2-time Teacher of the Year to the RRISD Board of Trustees – Place 6. 

Learn more at tiffanie4rrisd.com

10/23/20, 6:00 PM

Hi Samantha, this is Carol w/Powered by People. This race is tight and every vote will matter. Will you commit to voting this final weekend?

10/24/20, 4:10 PM

Hey Samantha  it’s Jane from Battleground Texas! There are only 6 days before Early Voting ends on the 30th! Have you made your plan to vote early?

10/25/20, 3:28 PM

Hi Samantha – it’s Terry w/Powered by People. A week from today begins our final Get Out the Vote push and we need your help! We can’t leave any votes on the table this year. Can we count on you join Beto and multiple special guests at a Calling Texas: The Last Mile phone bank? We have shifts beginning on Sunday, 11/1 at 12:00, 1:00, or 3:00CT; on Monday, 11/2 at 4:00 or 6:00CT; or on Election Day, 11/3 at 1:30, 3:30, or 5:00PM CT.

10/26/20, 1:43 PM

Hi Samantha ! This is Tiff’s Treats! Someone sent you a warm cookie gift and we just left it at your door. Enjoy and have a great day!

10/26/20, 4:40 PM

Hi Samantha, this is Shellie with the WilCo Dems. This is the last week of early voting.  It ends on Oct. 30 @ 7PM. Can we count on you to get out and vote for every Democrat all the way down the ballot?

10/27/20, 9:55 AM

Hi Samantha, this is Alex with the Will Peckham for City Council Campaign. Early voting ends this Friday, October 30 and Will Peckham still needs your support to return to the Round Rock City Council! Under Will Peckham’s leadership, Round Rock has been repeatedly recognized as one of the safest cities in America. Will Peckham will fight to keep our taxes low, keep our community safe, tackle COVID-19, and get our local economy back on track. Can I tell Will Peckham that he can count on your vote for Round Rock City Council, Place 4? Txt “Stop” to Stop.

10/28/20, 1:37 PM

Hey, it’s Tina w/Powered by People, just following up with exciting news for next week – we’ve added some new shifts and will be joined by Attorney General Eric Holder, Jack Black and Jemele Hill, in addition to the other special guests kicking off our Calling Texas: The Last Mile phone banks with Beto. We now have shifts beginning on Sunday at 12, 1, 3 and 5CT; on Monday at 2, 4 and 6CT; or on Election Day at 1:30, 3:30, and 5PM CT. When will you join us?

10/29/20, 3:00 PM

Hi Samantha – I’m a volunteer w/PxP. Public records show you voted in 2018 but not in 2016. The last day to vote early is tomorrow – will you vote?

3:03 PM

Me: Would you be able to show me where you found these records? I voted absentee in 2016 but from your text it sounds like it didn’t get counted

3:17 PM

Me: I’ll vote if you can share this information with me lol, I just want to know what happened with my 2016 ballot

3:42 PM

our records are not always correct. so if you voted in 16 im sure it was counted.  mistake is on us.  sorry about that!

10/29/20, 4:00 PM

(An image of Donna Imam’s platform points)

Reply STOP to opt-out.

10/30/20, 10:27 AM

Hi Samantha, this is Alex with the Will Peckham for City Council Campaign. Today is the last day of Early Voting and Will Peckham still needs your support to return to the Round Rock City Council! Under Will Peckham’s leadership, Round Rock has been repeatedly recognized as one of the safest cities in America. Will Peckham will fight to keep our taxes low, keep our community safe, tackle COVID-19, and get our local economy back on track. Will you please vote early today for Will Peckham for Round Rock City Council? Txt “Stop” to Stop.

10/30/20, 11:03 AM

Hi Samantha. Tuesday is our last chance to vote Trump out and elect a Senate that will get things done. Can we count on you to remind three friends to vote Blue Tuesday, Nov. 3?  Reply STOP to unsubscribe. —  Bob, a MoveOn volunteer

10/30/20, 3:22 PM

Team Tiffanie here! Let’s elect a 2-time Teacher of the Year to the RRISD Board of Trustees – Place 6. Vote for Tiff, it will be a Treat!

Learn more at tiffanie4rrisd.com

10/31/20, 11:28 AM

Huge news, Samantha! It’s David w/PxP, and I wanted to let you know we just added a Calling Texas: The Last Mile Phone Bank with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez! AOC will join Beto on Sun. at 6:30CT. I know you don’t want to miss this! Can we count on you to join them?

10/31/20, 12:38 PM

Samantha, it’s Katheryn with Joe Biden and the TX Dems. It looks like you haven’t voted yet, is that true? We can win this election but we need you with us! When will you vote on Tuesday?

10/31/20, 3:11 PM

Hi Samantha, it’s Kate with Texas Dems! Election Day is THIS Tuesday and every vote counts. Can we count on you to vote for Democrats up and down the ballot?

11/01/20, 11:19 AM

Lucio Del Toro is a Democrat running for District Judge in WilCo. With 15 years of legal experience in the private sector and as an Assistant District Attorney, Lucio will bring real change and balanced justice to our courthouse. Vote Lucio on Nov. 3! ✅

11/01/20, 7:07 PM

I’m so sorry you missed AOC, Samantha! We have 3 more phone banks tomorrow though – 2PM CT with Jack Black, 4PM CT with Emily and Zooey Deschanel and 6PM CT with Jason Bateman! Which can you join?