Robocalls Told Voters to 'Stay Safe, Stay Home'

But there were few incidents of intimidation
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 4, 2020 12:05 AM CST
Robocalls Told Voters to 'Stay Safe, Stay Home'
Donovan Entrekin, 44 at center, reads the Wall Street Journal while Ocie Chalfant, 26 at left, and Tabitha Marsh, check their cell phones while standing in line to vote on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020 in Flint, Mich.   (Jake May/The Flint Journal via AP)

The FBI says it is looking into reports of robocalls aimed at discouraging voting on Election Day—including some that told voters in Michigan they could be arrested for outstanding warrants if they went to the polls. The BBC reports that millions of voters in multiple states received calls saying, "Hello. This is just a test call. Time to stay home. Stay safe and stay home." Other calls warned voters that they could get sick if they went to the polls. In Flint, Mich., robocalls told voters that they should avoid long lines by voting Wednesday. "Obviously this is FALSE and an effort to suppress the vote," tweeted Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel.

Michigan voters also received text messages from the "Federal Berue [sic] of Investigation" telling them that there had been an error with Scantron ballots, and "if you are intending on voting for Joe Biden you must bubble in Trump," reports the New York Times. The Election Protection Hotline said it received reports of calls discouraging voting in at least 17 states. But while there were a few isolated acts of violence or intimidation—including an incident that led to the arrest of a North Carolina man—Election Day ended up being far more peaceful in most places than many had predicted, the Times notes. In Michigan, Nessel tweeted that a reported incident of trouble at a polling place in Warren turned out to be a group of Biden and Trump supporters singing "God Bless America" together. (The AP has more on a "tranquil" Election Day.)

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