The FBI has launched an investigation into reports of robocalls being made to voters that encourage them to stay home and not vote on Election Day, a senior official at the Department of Homeland Security told Reuters on Tuesday.
Such calls have been reported in several states, including New York, North Carolina, Michigan, Nebraska and Kansas, officials in those states have said.
“Attempts to hinder voters from exercising their right to cast their ballots are disheartening, disturbing, and wrong,” New York Attorney General Letitia James said in a statement Tuesday that announced an investigation by her office into the calls. She warned that “anyone who tries to hinder that right will be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law.”
Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said some of the calls received by residents in the city of Flint fraudulently encouraged them to postpone their vote to Wednesday due to long lines at the polls.
“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!” Nessel tweeted.
Residents in multiple states reported similar robocalls prior to Tuesday’s election. James said her office issued subpoenas earlier this week to investigate the source of those calls.
In a statement to HuffPost, an FBI spokesperson encouraged voters “to verify any election and voting information they may receive through their local election officials.”
Voters in need of voting assistance can call the nonpartisan Election Protection hotline at 866-OUR-VOTE.
Voter intimidation or fraud can also be reported to each state’s main election office.