Vote by phone?!? It's just the latest robocall fraud

  • Updated: November 5, 2008 - 8:42 PM

The Hennepin County attorney's office wants to hear from voters who received calls encouraging them to vote by phone.

If you received a call encouraging you to cast your vote by telephone, the Hennepin County attorney's office wants to hear from you as soon as possible.

County Attorney Mike Freeman said Wednesday that his office has reason to believe there was a "telephone scheme to defraud voters" to keep them from casting their votes at a polling place Tuesday.

The automated call -- to a home or cell phone -- would encourage the recipient to push a number to vote for Sen. Barack Obama or another number to vote for Sen. John McCain in the presidential race.

Freeman said his office has heard from one person who received the call. His office would like to hear any voicemails, text messages or see any caller ID numbers left on telephones related to this scheme. The prosecutors believe many calls were made, here and elsewhere, that may have come from one central call center so they hope to hear from anyone in any jurisdiction.

"We are trying to be as aggressive as we can early," Freeman said.

State law prohibits deceptive practices in elections. Violations are gross misdemeanors punishable by up to a year in jail.

Freeman asked that anyone who believes they might have information about such a call to contact his office at 612-348-5550.

Rochelle Olson • 612-673-1747

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