Voter suppression has been the star of the show in 2020, with issues with USPS, lost mail-in absentee ballots, fake ballot boxes, and more all posing different threats. Among the most heinous voter suppression tactics, people are now getting eerie Election Day robocalls telling them not to vote.
According to reports, election officials in several states, including Nebraska and Michigan — a battleground state — have said that constituents are receiving automated calls with misinformation about voting. Some robocalls have encouraged voters to, instead of going to the polls, stay home in order to stay safe. And a North Carolina voter who received a call this morning posted audio of the recording, which says, “This is just a test call. Time to stay home. Stay safe and stay home.” In addition to all this, The Des Moines Register also reported calls with similar language being made to voters in Iowa.
According to reports straight from voters, calls have now reached nearly all of the area codes in America, though it’s currently unclear if these robocalls across the country have anything to do with one another. Despite this, the matter has now been forwarded to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) which will be looking into the situation. Officials in the most impacted states are now forced to put out statements to mitigate the rampant influx of calls.
“Getting reports of multiple robocalls going to Flint residents that, due to long lines, they should vote tomorrow. Obviously this is FALSE and an effort to suppress the vote. No long lines and today is the last day to vote. Don’t believe the lies! Have your voice heard! RT PLS,” Dana Nessel, Michigan Attorney General tweeted earlier today. Nebraska’s Secretary of State Robert Evnen also took to Twitter to sort out the misinformation, saying, “The Secretary of State Office has received reports of anonymous phone calls to voters telling voters to ‘stay home and stay safe.’ Our polling places across the state are open. Our voters and our poll workers will be kept safe.”
Although there are no leads on exactly who is behind the calls or if they’ve targeted specific demographics, it’s an obvious ploy to suppress votes. The Election Protection Hotline has continued to receive reports of the calls throughout the day, according to USA Today.
If you receive any robocalls like this today, you can hang up and disregard them, as well as report them. Know that today is Election Day and there won’t be polling places open after tonight. Most importantly, don’t forget that as long as you’re standing in line by the time that polls close, you’re legally still allowed to vote.