“Independent Voter Research” Mystery Continues

The Independent Voter Network (IVN) suffers from a partial name collision with the self-styled “Independent Voter Research” (IVR) group that I recently complained was calling me every day. IVN has done a long posting on the mystery of who “Independent Voter Research” might be. Some of it is based on my experiences, but IVN also reports the following fun fact, of which I was not aware:

In Florida, there is a statute that specifically prohibits callers from stating that the call is from an entity that doesn’t exist.

Title IX, Chapter 106.147, paragraph 1(d) of the 2012 Florida Statutes states:

“No telephone call shall state or imply that the caller represents a nonexistent person or organization.”

The willful violation of this provision is considered a first degree misdemeanor. It is punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 or imprisonment of no more than a year.

(From the context, this applies at least to politically related mass calls, and probably to mass political polls also. I’m not sure it would necessarily apply more generally.)

As to the mystery itself, IVN too hit a brick wall:

No one has been able to confirm the existence of Independent Voter Research. There is very little evidence to support the claim it is a real polling agency. It has no website nor any online presence. The firm’s contact information is not listed. The only connection there is to the mysterious organization is an 866 number that only connects callers to an automated message.

Despite the inability to locate Independent Voter Research, no one has been able to conclusively link it to a campaign.

I’d say more “because of” than “despite”, but either way the group remains a mystery, and that last quoted sentence is a much better summary of the state of play than IVN’s headline “Secretive Phone Polling Firm Shows Ties to Romney Campaign”.

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18 Responses to “Independent Voter Research” Mystery Continues

  1. Aslynn says:

    SO FRUSTRATING! Is there NOTHING we can do?

  2. Evan Anderson says:

    I’m getting 2-4 calls a day from “Independent Voter Research” (I live in another swing state: Iowa). All of the calls have been from 202-808-3075.

  3. Paul says:

    I want to put an end to the five calls a day! I actually spoke to a human from Independant Voter Research and asked him to take me off the call list. He said he would and that was that. Now I am still getting these damn calls!!!!!!

  4. Jake says:

    I keep getting calls from these a**holes after I have told them to stop. sometimes multiple calls a day. This has been going on for 3 weeks or so. so annoying!

  5. Sandy Stebbins says:

    I have also been getting calls from these individuals. I get up to eight a day sometimes. Last week 9/11 I asked the person on the phone to remove my name, he also said he would. I have now just received two phone calls already this morning and when I answered the second call I also stated that I have already taken the survey and was told last week they would remove my name. He gave me the erroneous number to call and of course you only get a message.
    I can’t wait for elections to be over. I would really like to report these individuals if I knew who there really were.

  6. d- armstrong says:

    isn`t there abything we can do to shake these dips. every freakin` night ” this is voters research ” i`m so sick of `em i could care less about the election. i`m seriously considering having my number changed. i hate nobama, and am not in favor of romney, personally i think it`s 6 of one & a half dozen of the other.

  7. Ceresa_76 says:

    So, this must be a left wing site to assume it is Romney’s camp acting as this mysterious Independent Voters Research group. Nice. You really think this tactic is not within the capabilities and mindset of the Obama campaign? LOL wow

    • Actually, if you look at my original post on the subject you would find that the original research connecting the calls from Independent Voter Research at (866) 540-3140 to Romney was done by Ron Paul supporters. And they are not exactly liberals!

      It is a bit worrying, though, that cognitive dissonance is so powerful that when a fact they he/she doesn’t like a reader thinks “must be liberals” –> don’t have to believe what they say –> won’t even bother clicking the links in case I encounter more facts.

      • Bob Dobbs says:

        There’s no way this is a Ron Paul group. The primaries are long over and I’m still getting 2-3 calls a week from these scammers.

        • No, the Ron Paul group were the ones who first blamed Romney for the calls, not a suspected source of them. I mentioned them in response to the troll who said that it was somehow “left wing” to make the association between Romney and the calls.

  8. JakeinNH says:

    another call, from a different number. These jerks keep harassing me. I block a number, they call from another. Multiple times a day over the past 4-5 week. Can’t something be done about this company? They need to be shut down. They are horribly rude and extremely persistent and harassing for just a mere survey.

  9. JoanieInNH says:

    My sad-but-true (and yet largely effective) solution has been:

    1. Home number automatically and unconditionally forwards to Google Voice.
    2. Google Voice forwards all non-blocked numbers to my mobile phone.
    3. Mobile phone is connected via bluetooth to my home phone’s base unit.
    4. When I get a call from IVR, I immediately block the number in Google Voice.

    Google Voice already does some spam filtering on its own. I don’t know what their algorithm is, but I am hoping that it takes into account what other users block. If so, the individual act of blocking these numbers might result in fewer calls received by the population as a whole. Perhaps not. But hope springs eternal.

    As for the result of this admittedly Escheresque solution: I used to get ~20 harassing calls per week; now I get ~1. Modern-day Pyrrhic victory?

  10. Mark says:

    In our household nobody answers land line any more. If caller wants us to get back they have to leave message, and someone will call back, if it is in our interests. I do not answer incoming calls to mobile phone from unknown numbers. Here is list of phone numbers that Independent Voters Research callers used to call me:
    (801) 216-3750
    (910) 920-9815
    (517) 481-2489
    (202) 808-3075
    They all are blocked in my mobile phone service provider.
    I left message @ “contact us” page on
    http://www.mittromney.com/forms/other
    Message was that “I will not vote for Romney if Independent voters research will not stop calling me.”
    They replay was that they removed my phone number from their list.
    Make your own conclusions…
    Mark

    • JoanieInNH says:

      I’ve received calls from those four plus these:
      (866) 540-3140
      (800) 816-3521
      (216) 912-1556
      (202) 656-1162

  11. Mike says:

    I have Mr. Number on my cell phone and set it to block these ;) Best app I have downloaded https://play.google.com/store/search?q=mr+number

  12. Nick says:

    I keep getting these calls on my mobile phone not my land line! Not sure how many calls now, but getting annoying. As soon as i tell them that i have already participated they hang up. I was told that if i took the pole “The calls would stop.”

    Today i called my service provider (Verizion) they were very cordial and said they can block up to 5 numbers for free. Problem is todays came through as unknown. The associate even googled Independant Voter Research and seemed to care about the problem. Just nothing she could do about it.

    I then called the FCC. Because they are both political and a polling company they didn’t care at all. I then told them that i asked that i be removed from the companys list and they said they still couldnt help.

    I am beyond inconvienienced this just has me mad on principle now!!!

  13. Bob Dobbs says:

    The very first question the autopoll asks is if you are male or female. For all we know, this could be a rapist looking for victims. Whoever is behind these calls belongs behind bars.

  14. stop calling me! says:

    CO resident here. The harassment continues. 2 calls a day for months.

    I tried to answer the questions, but the system forces me to make a choice of the primary two candidates. This Independent Voter Research robo call is supposedly a Mitt Romney tool. I’m voting Ron Paul, and there is not a damn thing they can do about it, I don’t care how much subsersive negative conditioning they give me. For persons who vote the primary two candidates, this robo call is not harassing them, and probably stops calling. This type of robo calling to harass independent voters should be a crime. As if the dang phone companies cannot track who’s originating a million robo calls? More lies!

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