A robocall is a phone call that uses a computerized autodialer to deliver a pre-recorded message, as if from a robot.
robocallrobocallsrobocallingrobo-calltelephone pollsIndianapre-recorded telephone callsrobo-pollingRobodialers

Auto dialer

autodialerauto dialingautomatic calling unit
A robocall is a phone call that uses a computerized autodialer to deliver a pre-recorded message, as if from a robot.
When an autodialer plays a pre-recorded message, it is often called voice broadcasting, or robocalling.

National Do Not Call Registry

Do Not CallNational Do Not Call RegistryDo Not Call List
Political robocalls are exempt from the United States National Do Not Call Registry.
Separate laws and regulations apply to robocalls in the United States.


Robocalls are often associated with political and telemarketing phone campaigns, but can also be used for public-service or emergency announcements.
A recent trend in telemarketing is to use robocalls: automated telephone calls that use both computerized autodialers and computer-delivered pre-recorded messages in a sales pitch.

North Carolina Democratic primary, 2008

North CarolinaNorth Carolina primaryNorth Carolina Democratic primary
Robocalls were made during the 2008 North Carolina Democratic primary, targeting African-American voters in the days leading up to the primary in late April 2008, which essentially told registered voters that they were not registered.
The North Carolina state board of elections reported that misleading robocalls were made to African-American voters in the days leading up to the primary in late April 2008, which essentially told registered voters that they were not registered.

Citizens for Civil Discourse

Shaun Dakin, CEO of Citizens for Civil Discourse, testified at the hearing and described how robocalls affect the lives of voters across the nation.
Citizens for Civil Discourse, also known as CCD, is an American non-profit, non-partisan organization that accepts Robocall block requests from citizens via their website.

Caller ID spoofing

caller ID spoofingspoofspoofed
A major problem for the use of both blacklisting and whitelisting techniques is the practice of caller ID spoofing, which is prevalent as a result of the low barrier to entry in the VoIP services market.
In the Canadian federal election of May 2, 2011, both live calls and robocalls are alleged to have been placed with false caller ID, either to replace the caller's identity with that of a fictitious person (Pierre Poutine of Joliette, Quebec) or to disguise calls from an Ohio call centre as Peterborough, Ontario domestic calls.

VoIP spam

SPIT (SPam over Internet Telephony)SPIT
Most products use methods similar to those used to mitigate SPIT (spam over Internet telephony) and can be broadly categorised by the primary method used.
Robocalls can be delivered automatically using telephony software, such as Asterisk.

The Voter Participation Center

Women's Voices Women VoteVoter Participation Center
According to NPR and Facing South, these calls were made by the organization "Women's Voices Women Vote."
The robocalls did not identify the VPC as the caller.

Virginia House of Delegates election, 2017

November 7, 2017November 2017 election2017 Virginia House of Delegates election
The election was marred by electoral irregularities, such as robocalls falsely telling voters their polling places had changed and voters being assigned to the wrong district.

2011 Canadian federal election voter suppression scandal

2011 Canadian federal election voter suppression scandalRobocall scandalRobogate
It involved robocalls and real-person calls that were designed to result in voter suppression.

Claire Levy

The Rule 36 complaint committee reviews allegations of misconduct by lobbyists, and, during the 2007 session, heard a case involving robocalls made by a lobbyist for business leaders; Levy voted with the majority of the committee, which found that the calls, although deceptive, were protected political speech.

SA Unions

Trades and Labor CouncilUnited Trades and Labour CouncilUnited Trades and Labor Council
During the 2014 state election, SA Unions ran a targeted campaign of over 190,000 robocalls against Nick Xenophon and his ticket, the Nick Xenophon Team, in response to their policy of reducing penalty rates for weekend workers.

Harper Polling

The organization was founded after the 2012 presidential election, with the goal of giving Republicans high-volume, inexpensive "robo-polling."

Negative campaigning

negative campaigningmudslingingnegative campaign
Push polls are attacks disguised as telephone polls.


YouMail is an Irvine, CA-based developer of visual voicemail and Robocall blocking software.

New Jersey elections, 2009

2009 election2009 legislative electionsNovember 2, 2009, general election
Christie and Lonegan attacked each other relentlessly throughout the primary campaign through mailers and robocalls, with each seeking to undermine the other by drawing the public's attention to scandals involving the other.

Cahaly v. LaRosa

Cahaly v. LaRosa is a lawsuit filed in federal court in 2013 that challenged South Carolina's law prohibiting most types of unsolicited consumer and political calls made by Automatic Dialing and Announcing Devices (ADAD), also known as "robocalls".

Call blocking

call blockingblockedCall Barring
These generally include types of unsolicited calls from telemarketers and robocalls.

Longman by-election, 2018

LongmanLongman by-election2018
Mark Latham, Labor leader between December 2003 and January 2005, voiced a robocall authorised by Pauline Hanson, in an attempt to discourage Labor voting and instead encouraged minor party voting.

Deb Fischer

Sunny Slope RanchDeb Fischer
Shortly before the election, she was endorsed by Nebraska U.S. Representative Jeff Fortenberry and by 2008 Vice-Presidential candidate Sarah Palin, who recorded robocalls endorsing her; and a super PAC financed by former Omaha businessman Joe Ricketts paid for $250,000 worth of television advertising promoting Fischer and opposing Bruning.

American Action Network

a conservative political organizationHispanic Leadership Network
It aims to accomplish this through nationwide issue advocacy campaigns using print and television advertisements, direct mail, grassroots organizing, robocalls, online advertising and online videos.

Kansas's 4th congressional district

4th4Kansas's 4th U.S. Congressional District
Robo-calls from President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence flooded the Fourth District, and Senator Ted Cruz—who had won the 2016 Kansas Republican Presidential Caucus—made a last-minute visit to the District to stump for Estes.

Mayoralty of Rob Ford

Ford retaliated by recording a "robocall"' sent to voters in Ainslie's ward.