updated 11/1/2010 9:37:01 PM ET 2010-11-02T01:37:01

Massive numbers of automatically dialed political telephone calls caused phone service problems in New England on Monday, Comcast said.

The Philadelphia-based telecommunications company said congestion resulting from the calls forced it to reroute phone traffic while it tried to identify the carrier whose telephone numbers were generating the calls.

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Comcast Corp. spokeswoman Kristen Roberts said other local phone carriers in New Hampshire and Massachusetts also may be suffering as a result.

The outages came as political campaigns hit the phones to woo voters before Tuesday's midterm elections.

The New Hampshire Democratic Party said it lost phone service at local campaign offices at 11 locations around the state. A 2002 scheme to disrupt Democrats' get-out-the-vote efforts by jamming telephones with hang-up calls resulted in criminal convictions for a former state GOP executive director and a former political consultant.

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