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VERIFY: Can political campaigns text your cell phone?

Voters' cell phones are buzzing with text messages from presidential candidates. How do they get your number and what allows them to text you?

Campaigns are sending out a blitz of text messages to voters' cell phones this election season, asking for their support.

How do they get your number?

The Democratic National Committee buys lists of cell phone numbers, tens of millions of them, and then provides those to campaigns. The DNC said it aims to have a number for every registered voter in America.

Campaigns told KING 5 they can also pull phone numbers from publicly available voter registration databases.

A spokesperson for the Washington Secretary of State said phone numbers on voter registration forms are not made available to campaigns.

Are campaigns allowed to text your cell phone?

Yes, because campaigns say a person is hitting "send" on each message.

The FCC Telephone Consumer Protection Act regulates "robotexts,” automatic messages sent by a computer, which require a person's consent to receive them.

Because campaigns say a volunteer or campaign staffer is sending the presidential campaign texts to each recipient, those federal protections don't apply.

Bernie Sanders' campaign says it has 12,000 people texting voters, using software to keep track of all those numbers and conversations.

How do I get them to stop?

Campaigns KING 5 spoke with say they will leave you alone if you reply to a text and say "unsubscribe," "stop," or something to that effect.

They also said they won't text or call after 9 p.m.

But if you have questions about a candidate or want to know more about where they stand on an issue, you can have a conversation with the volunteer through text message, just like you would if they were standing at your front door.

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