Experts say political robocalls are protected free speech

The company “Insights & Strategy” says that political robocalls are protected by the First Amendment as free speech, and cannot be blocked by apps or "do not call" lists. (WGME)

PORTLAND (WGME) – Candidates aren't just knocking on doors in Maine, some are making robocalls.

You've heard them, and seen them, but some robocalls are more than just fake credit card companies.

Political robocalls are used across the country, including in Maine.

"A lot of them are reaching to robocalls as a way of quickly getting their message and communicating what they stand out to voters," Insights&Strategy CEO Bradley Honan said.

Companies like Insights&Strategy say it's all legal, and protected speech.

"There is a First Amendment right for campaigns and groups that are interested in political issues from communicating to voters," Honan said.

Honan says Mainers are perfect targets for the service.

"Mainers are typically very politically engaged, and very civically engaged, and that's no different this cycle," Honan said.

They say in Maine, candidates rely on robocalls to reach areas of the state that might be tough to walk door to door, but they say Mainers specifically are still looking for that face time with their candidate.

"If campaigns are just relying on robocalls and not pressing the flesh or taking the chance to know the campaigns and candidates, that's where candidates fall short," Honan said.

But even experts say the spam calls should be regulated.

"But it needs to be policed to be done in ways that are consistent with the ways the courts and arguably the Constitution gives the ability to do," Honan said.

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