Example: [Collected via e-mail, October 2012]
WARN YOUR ELDERLY FRIENDS AND NEIGHBORS THEY CANNOT VOTE BY PHONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! A local station was reporting someone with access to government records of the population has callers phoning Republican elderly people taking their vote by telephone to save them the trouble of going to the polls to vote! To keep them from casting their vote.
Please pass this along, lets stop FRAUDULENT information to all American citizens. They'll try ANYthing to get their guy elected to a second term.
This was posted to Facebook today; sure hope it is False; we don't need any more political drama right now.
Origins: Although election officials are continually considering ways to make the balloting process easier and more efficient for voters, a mechanism for casting ballots by telephone is not yet a technology being employed in national elections. (Such a system would involve significant security issues that would have to be tackled before it could become reality.) Nonetheless, during the
"There are always these attempts at providing disinformation to folks," said Johnnie McLean, deputy director of the State Board of Elections.
McLean said allegations of such misbehavior are starting sooner than normal. "We have seen earlier reports of these types of misinformation sound bytes," she said.
McLean said that when the Board of Elections receives reports of misleading information being distributed, such as calls telling people they can vote by phone (you can't), they try to trace the source. Usually that's hard to do, but if the board locates the source, they ask them to stop.
"If we don't have any kind of evidence ... it's very difficult for anyone to do anything," McLean said.
The vote-by-phone messages also have been reported in the swing states of Florida and Virginia [in 2012]. The Virginia board of elections issued a warning two weeks ago.
Florida's State Department reported some voters were being targeted with fraudulent efforts meant to keep them home on
Chris Cate, the department's communications director, said a handful of voters have received calls during which they were told they could vote by phone, which is "not true whatsoever."
Similar complaints were reported in Virginia, another battleground state. Earlier in October, state election officials said they received complaints from voters who said they'd gotten phone calls telling them they could vote by phone.
At this point in time, it is unclear how widespread these calls have been. However, SBE has received several complaints over the past few days. These calls may violate several state and federal laws and the State Board of Elections will alert appropriate law enforcement authorities regarding this matter and provide new information if SBE receives additional voter complaints.
Last updated: 30 October 2012
Portillo, Ely. "Bogus Callers Telling People They Can Vote by Phone, N.C. Officials Say." The Charlotte Observer. 26 October 2012. UPI. "States: Voters Report Intimidation Scams." 29 October 2012.