Another Misleading Republican Robocall

Here’s yet another example of a Republican campaign or group putting out misleading robocalls that help suppress the vote, this time telling people to go to the wrong polling place. A local TV station has the audio and the real polling places:


As I’ve written before, this happens every election. The specific technique varies. Sometimes it tells people that the date of the election has changed, or that their polling place has changed. Sometimes it tells them that they don’t need to vote, that one side has already won. Sometimes it’s mailers with the wrong addresses, as has already happened, or letters sent out telling people that they could be arrested if they go vote. And it’s always done by Republicans — and it’s always a regrettable mistake, never intentional. Right.

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  • raven

    Is this legal?

    I can’t see why trying to suppess the vote would be.

    Voting is after all, the central principle of our democracy.

    Like everyone, I’ve gotten lots of campaign mail. Mostly from the GOP. Some of it is wildly wrong, just lies.

    Multiple ones claim that the Democrats are responsible for the 15 trillion USD deficit. The reality is that most of that was Reagan and Bush. Clinton left us running a budget surplus which Bush promptly destroyed.

  • Trebuchet

    The Flake (what a wonderful name for a Republican!) campaign claims they were only calling Republicans. An interesting claim, considering they’d have been sending their own voters to the wrong place. We’re not crooks, we’re just incompetent!

  • hexidecima

    unsuprisingly, these “mistakes” are always for the benefit of the party involved. for example, there is never a voting document that has an early date “mistakenly” given for the real voting day. It’s always telling dates when it would be too late.

  • Wonka

    I may have missed this in the report. Was the call coming from the Flake headquarters?

  • laurentweppe

    In France, stuff like that can lead to a canceled election and the politician helped by the dirty trick being banned from running.

    Hence we don’t see stuff like this happening

  • eric

    Is this legal?

    I don’t know what law would apply, but I would guess that being intentionally deceptive is illegal. The problem is proving intent. DAs would probably not prosecute the case even if it is illegal, because they can’t win it.

  • Nick Gotts (formerly KG)

    Is this legal?

    I can’t see why trying to suppess the vote would be. – raven

    FREEZE PEACH!!!!! As was repeatedly pointed out to me here over The Innocence of Muslims it’s fundamental to the First Amendment and hence to American freedom that you can tell any lie you want, not only without legal consequences, but without moral responsibility – that always lies exclusively with those who receive the message.

  • Reginald Selkirk
  • Some years ago in a U.S. Rep’s race, the morning of the election signs appeared that said (roughly) “Support gay marriage: Vote for Sanford Bishop” and “Support gun control: Vote for Sanford Bishop.” Bishop was the Democrat, BTW

    Of course the other camp denied any involvement. But consider this: this is a rural district in South Ga., so it is a very large geographical area of 20-plus counties; the signs appeared in every county across the district, and there were a shitload of them. And finally, they were not just poster board written on with Magic Markers as they looked to be professionally done.

  • Reginald Selkirk

    Unless someone ‘fesses up, good looking even proving where the calls came from. Caller ID is very easy to spoof.

  • raven


    Glitch in voting machine causes concern. Fraud worries surface when a man’s Obama vote is automatically switched to Romney.

    Well cheer up!!! It could be worse.

    The electronic voting machines could be programmed for a Romney win. Hmmm, naw, couldn’t happen here.

    The above is the headline that just crossed my screen.

  • shouldbeworking

    A certain party apparently tried that in Canada first. You guys are just copy cats!

  • mildlymagnificent

    I find all this amazing, primitive in fact. It’s the sort of thing I’d not be surprised to see in places where democracy is new and not yet done properly.

    As for the wrong polling place, that couldn’t happen here in Australia. Compulsory voting means that we need practically every school and church hall put into service absolutely everywhere. Even if you forgot that the election was on, you’d have to wear blinkers not to see the 2 or 3 or half a dozen voting places you’d pass as you just did your ordinary daily routine.

  • Die Anyway

    Years ago we registered Republican because our local politics was predominately Republican and you had no say in the local primaries if you were registered Democrat or Independent. I have since changed my party affiliation but my wife never bothered. So, her name is on the Republican rolls and we have been getting 10 or more robocalls per day. One of the pleas for us to vote gave the wrong polling location. Since this was Republicans calling what they assumed was Republicans I have to think this is incompetence rather than guile.

    Out of the hundred or so political calls I have fielded, only one was for Obama. It was a robocall read by Eva Longoria. A few were for local candidates but by far the majority were for Rmoney. Voices included both Mitt and Ann Romney, Paul Ryan, Ann Coulter, and dozens of young females.

  • Abby Normal

    laurentweppe @5

    In France, stuff like that can lead to a canceled election and the politician helped by the dirty trick being banned from running.

    Hence we don’t see stuff like this happening

    How do you prevent people from “helping” the opposition in order to get them disqualified?

  • eric

    Out of the hundred or so political calls I have fielded…

    That’s one of the reasons I got rid of my landline and don’t list my cell phone. Hypothetically I can still be called by charities and political parties, but in reality, they haven’t found me yet.

  • laurentweppe

    How do you prevent people from “helping” the opposition in order to get them disqualified?

    As I said, laws which allow for the cancelation of an election. If something like Florida 2000 happened in France, the courts would just proclaim the vote void and ask everyone to vote again.

    Also, we have strong campain finance laws: for instance, during the last presidential election, the maximum spending allowed was 22,5 million euros per candidate, with the expenses being reimbursed by the state for every candidate who won 5% of the vote or more. So you can be sure that no one will try to trick voters with robocalls: to expensive and by the end of the campain, everyone is pinching pennies.

    Finally, here’s a short list of the main ways to end up in prison for tampering the vote. And being powerful will not save you: powerful mayors (including the mayor of Paris), deputies, senators have been sentenced to prison terms and banned from running. And if you’re a former president? Nope: you’re screwed as well.

    Of course, it does not mean that everything is perfect: cunning politicians can sometimes manage to rig an election (mostly localy, national elections drive too much attention) and get away with it. But still, it works at keeping most politicians tame.

  • fastlane

    I think the states should start writing laws holding the politician that benefits from such a tactic ineligible. Of course, then the scumbags would just switch tactics and make fake robocalls for the democrats. Fuck…there’s gotta be a better way to fix this.

  • ckitching

    So, I see Pierre Poutine has found work stateside. Not to worry, the Conservative is already hard at work on the case, and I’m sure they’ll find this dastardly fellow soon!

  • peterh

    You actually listened to a robocall long enough to find out it was misleading? Or anything else other than that it was a robocall????

  • =8)-DX

    I think they should get real robots to do the robocalls. I mean I know that our carbon-based xenophobia is something that we’ll have to deal with in the future, but perhaps people would stop taking these things at all seriously.