HONOLULU (KHON2) — Voters’ phones may continue to ring as inboxes fill up with messages from political candidates, but how do campaigns get voters’ personal information?
“When a person registers to vote, a person discloses certain information like their name, they’re over 18 or are a resident of Hawaii and a U.S. citizen … with this information it becomes public information,” said Sandy Ma of Common Cause Hawaii.
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The Office of Elections said, in Hawaii voter registration lists can be used by candidates for election purposes. Plus, a new way of getting in touch with voters is here.
“The new thing is also there’s usually big marketing firms on the mainland that offer voter lists as well and they can go as deep as district by district, island by island and male or female,” said Glenna Wong of Glenna Wong Public Relations.
The lists are also broken up by age and race. These lists are used by campaigns to connect directly with voters.
“Once you get the lists, the campaign and the candidate really needs to hone in on the messages. Really taking the pulse on what’s on the voters minds, what matters most to them, whether it’s affordable housing, cost of living, transportation,” Wong said.
During election season, experts said be vigilant when it comes to responding or clicking on any of the links from sources they’re unfamiliar with. It might be a con artist on the other side trying to take advantage of voters.
“If you really want to support that candidate, go directly to your web browser and pull up their information and their website so that you know you’re on the correct page, because if you click on a link that you have been sent it could direct you to a phony website that looks very real,” said Roseann Freitas of the Better Business Bureau.
Voters can call the Office of Elections if they’re suspicious of a message or block the email or phone number it’s coming from.
Experts said, expect to receive more of those calls and messages in the coming days.
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“This is a good thing that candidates and people running for office are reaching out to you. To let you know about their positions, because we do want voters to have all the information to make an informed choice,” said Ma.