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Misleading Robo Calls in Missouri

By Frank Morris


Kansas City, MO – Federal officials are investigating text messages and robo calls encouraging Missouri voters to vote tomorrow.

Complaints started coming in from around the state this morning. They were short text messages and automated calls, some attributed to CNN, with the same message: "Because of delays, Obama supporters are advised to vote Wednesday."

It's a familiar election-day tactic in Missouri. But Laura Egerdal, with the Secretary of State's office, says some among this year's record crop of newly registered voters may just fall for it.

"We've seen over 342,000 voters this year who have never voted before," says Egerdal. "So those folks can be especially vulnerable to confusing information about what to do on Election Day."

Egerdal says the Justice Department is investigating. Spreading lies to keep people from voting is a felony in Missouri. If they're caught, the people sending these messages could lose their right to vote, pay fines, and even do prison time.

I’ve been at KCUR almost 30 years, working partly for NPR and splitting my time between local and national reporting. I work to bring extra attention to people in the Midwest, my home state of Kansas and of course Kansas City. What I love about this job is having a license to talk to interesting people and then crafting radio stories around their voices. It’s a big responsibility to uphold the truth of those stories while condensing them for lots of other people listening to the radio, and I take it seriously. Email me at frank@kcur.org or find me on Twitter @FrankNewsman.
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