New Hampshire Robocalls Crash Phone Network : It's All Politics The phone network crash led Democrats to erroneously suspect a GOP dirty trick like one in 2002. This crash affected both Democrats and Republicans alike. And while Democrats initially blamed the GOP, Republicans accused Democrats of a distraction.
NPR logo New Hampshire Robocalls Crash Phone Network

New Hampshire Robocalls Crash Phone Network

The first winners in the 2010 election may go down as voters who don’t like being interrupted at home by those annoying robocalls from candidates.

An intense effort by both parties in New Hampshire to use the automated campaign calls to help get out the vote crashed the system Monday and left both Republican and Democratic field offices without phone service.

Democratic Party officials initially feared the worst. Still furious over a 2002 Republican scheme to jam Democratic phone banks (that landed a former GOP official in jail) Democrats quickly called the state's attorney general to report their phone trouble.

"Considering the crimes committed by the state Republican Party in past elections, unfortunately we felt the need to contact the authorities," New Hampshire Democratic Party Chair Raymond Buckley said in a statement.

Republican spokesman Ryan Williams countered, " The Democrats know they will be beaten ... They are just making things up to deflect from the coming losses."

Comcast is still looking into it, but the company says it believes the robocalls were the culprit.

And, turns out , the system crash was just a temporary reprieve for NH residents. When their landlines went dead, phone bank volunteers quickly pulled out their cell phones and got  back to work calling voters.