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Voter phone numbers aren't public

Voter phone numbers are not public information, according to Mississippi Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann.

Hosemann's office released an advisory earlier this week warning Mississippi residents who are told their cell phone number was obtained from voter records it was done so illegally.

The Secretary of State's Office has received multiple complaints from voters across the state who have received text messages regarding Tuesday's runoff election.

"When asked by the voter how the sender obtained the voter's phone number, the sender has, in many instances, reportedly replied the phone number was obtained pursuant to a public records request to the Secretary of State's Office or county election officials," said Secretary of State Assistant Leah Rupp Smith.

The Daily Corinthian has received calls from Corinth residents who have received and replied to similar text messages.

"Phone numbers, if provided on voter registration forms or maintained on the voter roll, are not public information and are not disseminated by this office in response to public records requests," added Smith.

The Secretary of State's Office has asked for additional training for volunteers engaged in sending text messages to end the spread of inaccurate and misleading information.

(Hosemann's north Mississippi office can be contacted at 662-844-0194.)