Bogus Robocalls Still Bombarding Kansas

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.


The Kansas attorney general’s office has opened an investigation into deceptive robocalls Democratic voters have received on the eve of the election. The Kansas Democratic Party has reported that some of their supporters got automated calls reminding them to vote on Wednesday—the election, for course, is on Tuesday—and to bring proof of home ownership and voter registration, which are not required in the state. All of the voters who received the calls gave the same phone number, originating from Birmingham, Alabama, and reported that the automated message said it was from “Republicans” without specifying an individual or group.

“Another annoying Political Robot call for the Republican Party—left a long message on my answering machine,” one voter wrote Sunday on a website for reporting unsolicited calls, under the subject heading “Harassed in Kansas.” The Kansas Dems say their supporters received the calls over the weekend, and a half a dozen voters told the attorney general’s office they received the misleading calls on Monday. “They are widespread, not targeted in any one geographic area,” says Gavin Young, a spokesman for the attorney general’s office. Young said that the investigation had yet to uncover who might be behind the dirty trick. The Kansas Republican Party has denied any involvement. In 2000, a similar scheme was spearheaded in Kansas by a Republican candidate for state senate. While the federal races in Kansas are swinging solidly Republican, there are a number of hotly contested races for the state legislature, as well as a high-profile race for Secretary of State, where GOP candidate Kris Kobach—the architect of Arizona’s immigration law—has campaigned on fighting massive fraud.

When I called the number the robocalls originated from on Tuesday morning, an automated message picked up: “Thank you for call—if you have received a call in error, please press 1, and your number will be removed for our customer list.” The Kansas attorney general’s office and Secretary of State have tried to alert voters to contact them about the bogus calls, but there’s little else they can do at the last minute. “Outside of that, what can you do Monday before the election?” says Young. “You can’t send out a PSA.”

Kansas isn’t the only state where there are reports of misleading political calls. The North Carolina Democratic Party also alleges that unaffiliated and Democratic voters are receiving harassing robocalls “from conservative intereste groups meant to anger voters and suppress turnout,” according to an emailed statement from the party posted on Daily Kos:

These unsolicited robo calls, which are coming to a voters sometimes up to eight times in a row, include a Democratic candidate asking for support in tomorrow’s election. Not surprisingly, many people hang up the call before they can hear the full message…”These robo calls are a desperate, despicable, and unfortunately, predictable, attempt by the GOP to keep Democratic voters away from the polls tomorrow,” said Andrew Whalen, Executive Director of the NCDP.

IT'S NOT THAT WE'RE SCREWED WITHOUT TRUMP:

"It's that we're screwed with or without him if we can't show the public that what we do matters for the long term," writes Mother Jones CEO Monika Bauerlein as she kicks off our drive to raise $350,000 in donations from readers by July 17.

This is a big one for us. It's our first time asking for an outpouring of support since screams of FAKE NEWS and so much of what Trump stood for made everything we do so visceral. Like most newsrooms, we face incredibly hard budget realities, and it's unnerving needing to raise big money when traffic is down.

So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

payment methods

IT'S NOT THAT WE'RE SCREWED WITHOUT TRUMP:

"It's that we're screwed with or without him if we can't show the public that what we do matters for the long term," writes Mother Jones CEO Monika Bauerlein as she kicks off our drive to raise $350,000 in donations from readers by July 17.

This is a big one for us. So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate