Hot Sheet

‘I Already Voted’ tells campaigns to knock it off and leave you alone

Author: Dan Njegomir - October 19, 2017 - Updated: October 19, 2017


You’ve sent in your mail ballot, but the phone keeps ringing. Pitches, push polls and the like, served up right round dinnertime — with all the warmth and charm of a robocall.

Those “no-call” lists that swept the country years ago and were supposed to insulate you from unwanted telemarketers? They don’t apply to political speech; politicians and their peeps can pester you all they want. Even after you’ve voted.

Dreading another campaign season? Can’t take it anymore? Well, hold the phone — before you get so fed up you throw it out, or through, the window.

The “I Already Voted” initiative,  or IAV, offers hope. Here’s how it works, as thumbnailed in a press release this week:

The IAV Initiative is pretty simple.  It works with campaigns and advertisers to reduce the number of unnecessary political advertisements sent during elections. And by unnecessary, we mean sent to someone who is either: a) not eligible to vote or b) has already voted.

After a voter has voted, they are encouraged to opt-in and submit their information at which then works to notify candidates, campaigns and media advertisers to stop targeting these voters. The site does not ask who a voter voted for, nor is it interested in capturing any more information than it needs to: name, address, zip code, email and birthday is all that is required in the submission process.

Does it really work? Organizers of the effort are taking it for a test drive — in Aurora:

Colorado is an all vote-by-mail state and Aurora is its third largest city. It offers a unique testing environment with a strong sample size large enough to gauge success while not getting lost in the typical election year shuffle.  It is geographically tight and demographically diverse. Colorado itself has been deemed a purple, bellwether state and one that is watched and studied by many in the national political scene.

Says IAV founder Jon Haubert:

“It is in a campaign’s best interest to not waste a dime on a voter that has already voted … In many ways, serves as a Political Do-Not-Call List. And while we can’t promise everyone on the campaign trail will listen, we’ll certainly do our best to help voters and candidates alike by providing information to shift targeted advertisements away from those who’ve already voted.”

He sees it as a win-win:

“While the IAV Initiative is absolutely in its infancy, it’s taking steps towards solving problems on both sides of the equation by addressing voter complaints while improving how candidates and campaigns communicate and advertise.”

It’s a safe bet there’s a big appetite for this kind of service among voters in Aurora — and everywhere else. Stay tuned.

Dan Njegomir

Dan Njegomir

Dan Njegomir is the opinion editor for Colorado Politics. A longtime journalist and more-than-25-year veteran of the Colorado political scene, Njegomir has been an award-winning newspaper reporter, an editorial page editor, a senior legislative staffer at the State Capitol and a political consultant.