Computer Glitch Blamed for 6 A.M. Campaign Calls in Norman
By Jon Jordan, NEWS 9
NORMAN, Oklahoma -- Thousands of Norman residents got a wake up call they didn't expect Wednesday morning.
Residents received an early 6 a.m. "robocall" on behalf of R.J. Harris, who is a republican candidate for Oklahoma's fourth district.
Harris is already facing an uphill battle because he is running against well-known incumbent Representative Tom Cole, but now, thanks to a computer glitch, Harris' battle may have gotten even tougher.
The robocall was designed to get a better feel for the voters of Oklahoma's fourth district, but all the phone call from Harris' campaign did was wake them up.
Thad Balkman was one of 3,000 unlucky people to pick up the phone Wednesday morning, and, ironically, Balkman is a former state representative.
"When you get a phone call early in the morning, middle of the night, usually it kind of scares you," Balkman said, "I think that reflects poorly on the candidate. I think it will probably hurt his chances in the upcoming election."
While Balkman sees the glitch as a major error for Harris, the republican candidate said he's going to take it all in stride.
"Life is full of entertaining faux pas and foibles. It's what makes us human," Harris said.
On his web site, Harris called the mistake a 'computer glitch phone nightmare' and offered his apology to those who received the calls. As for hurting him in the election, Harris doesn't agree.
"There will be a time for us to get our message out there and define ourselves from our opponent and not have to worry about accidental 6 a.m. robocalls," Harris said.
The company who sent out the robocalls early has taken full blame for what happened, and despite the mistake Harris said he plans to work with the company in the future.
Harris said his quick action prevented nearly 17,000 others from receiving the early morning call.