If your phone is ringing today, chances are it's a campaign calling with a pre-recorded message. In the last 10 minutes I got one from Tim Burgess, candidate for the Seattle City Council, and another from Darlene Flynn, candidate for the Seattle School Board. Burgess used his own voice to speak against mail pieces by his opponent, incumbent David Della. Flynn used a Seattle teacher to speak on her behalf. These "robo calls" are incredibly cheap compared to the price of direct mail, say five cents versus 45 cents or more for direct mail (counting design, production, postage and consultant fees). Using automated dialers matched against voter lists, calls go to targeted voters just as campaign mail does. Campaigns also use them because they can be done quickly, written, recorded and distributed in a half day. But there's something unique about robo calls. While voters generally have no problem with junk mail, some get agitated over junk phone calls, in some instances emailing campaigns that they will vote for the other person simply out of protest for the unwanted calls. In one instance -- my own campaign in 2005 -- a few angry people made a point of calling me at home to personally express their anger. Ouch! (Don't worry. It won't happen again.) So you tell me: when the vote rings and it's a recorded voice, do you listen?