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Attorney general warns of false robocalls targeting Flint voters

A disinformation campaign reportedly tells Flint voters to avoid long lines and vote the day after Election Day.

Flint Voters Getty Images

Residents in Flint, Michigan are reporting robocalls that are telling them to vote on Wednesday (Nov. 4) instead of on Election Day (Nov. 3). Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel took to Twitter urging people to ignore the calls and to vote Tuesday, which is the last day of voting in the state and around the country.

The calls and text messages told voters to head to the polls on Wednesday in order to avoid long lines that have been reported in polling places all over the country since early voting began. “Getting reports of multiple robocalls going to Flint residents that, due to long lines, they should vote tomorrow,” Nessel tweeted.

She added: “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.”

Voters were hit with suspicious robocalls and texts as they began to prepare to vote on Tuesday, igniting more concern about the tactics that are being used for voter suppression and to scare people away from heading to the polls. The campaign reportedly specifically targeted Flint, a city whose population is 53 percent Black.

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer also took to Twitter to inform residents of the robocalls. “We received reports that an unknown party is purposefully spreading misinformation via robocalls in Flint in an attempt to confuse voters,” she wrote. “Let me be clear — if you plan to vote in-person, you must do so, or be in line to do so, by 8PM today.”

She added: “Lines across the state are minimal and moving quickly, and @MichSoS and leaders across state and local government will work quickly to stamp out misinformation trying to prevent Michiganders from voting.”

Whitmer asked voters to call their local clerk for any questions or concerns and to report any kind of voting misinformation. The Washington Post reported that a Trump administration official said the FBI also has opened an investigation into the Michigan robocalls. Other states like New York are also actively investigating robocalls that are being used to spread disinformation, and urging voters to “stay home” on Election Day. The origins of the calls and texts remain unclear.

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