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Dan Froomkin reports troubling news in Tricksters Trying To Suppress Vote With Deceptive Phone Calls:

Some African American, Spanish-speaking and elderly voters in Florida and Virginia are apparently being targeted by anonymous voter-suppression groups trying to trick them or intimidate them into not voting in the November presidential election, according to election officials and voter protection organizations.

The Virginia State Board of Elections is warning residents that "some Virginia voters, particularly older Virginians, are receiving phone calls from unidentified individuals informing voters that they can vote over the phone. This information is false." ...

The lawyers' committee is also investigating reports from callers into African-American and Spanish-language radio stations in Florida that they had received warnings over the phone that election officials would be checking car insurance and registration status at the polls.

A group of lawyers in Florida have organized the Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, and set up a hotline 866-OUR-VOTE to report any attempts at voter suppression or misinformation. A spokesperson for the group, Eric Marshall says that such attempts normally do not start until closer to election day, presumably, because there would be less time to correct misinformation.

In the past, allegations of similar disinformation campaigns have included calls or fliers in Democratic areas suggesting that one could vote by phone, or that rules were changed so Democrats should vote on Wednesday to avoid polling congestion.  

But, given the ease of tracing phone calls these days, I have to imagine that reports of such phone misinformation are the work of rogue pranksters rather than any widespread, coordinated effort by official groups, as it seems as if it would be relatively easy to track such efforts down. And, any such activities done this early leave plenty of time to refute and correct.

Nevertheless, anyone receiving or witnessing attempts at voter suppression or misinformation should report them immediately.  

Originally posted to HoundDog on Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 11:04 AM PDT.

Also republished by Virginia Kos.

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