With the general election less than two weeks away, officials are warning people to beware of fraudulent messages advising them they can vote by phone, and Mecklenburg election workers are recalibrating touch-screen voting machines that allegedly recorded the wrong vote.
There are always these attempts at providing disinformation to folks, said Johnnie McLean, deputy director of the State Board of Elections.
McLean said allegations of such misbehavior are starting sooner than normal. We have seen earlier reports of these types of misinformation sound bytes, she said.
McLean said that when the Board of Elections receives reports of misleading information being distributed, such as calls telling people they can vote by phone (you cant), they try to trace the source. Usually thats hard to do, but if the board locates the source, they ask them to stop.
If we dont have any kind of evidence ... its very difficult for anyone to do anything, McLean said.
The vote-by-phone messages also have been reported in the swing states of Florida and Virginia this year. The Virginia board of elections issued a warning two weeks ago.
The most reliable sources of information on when and how to vote are election boards, McLean said. If youre suspicious, check.
As for machines recording the wrong vote, the complaint is familiar.
Every big election you always hear of this idea, that you touched one candidate and the other came up, said Michael Dickerson, director of the Mecklenburg County Board of Elections. We take each of these seriously.
He said he has received three reports so far of voting machines that marked a candidate different from the one the voter touched. In such cases, he said officials shut down the machine and send out a technician.
Dickerson said voters should review their ballots carefully, and report any problems to poll workers.