Fraudulent 'vote-by-phone' calls reported in Florida, Virginia

Calls reported in Florida, Virginia

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. - Florida voters head to the polls in just a few weeks and there are reports fraudsters are already trying stop some registered voters from casting their ballots.

"The purpose of these calls is to confuse voters," said Darden Rice, Pinellas County League of Women Voters.

Rice says they are concerned about phone calls made to Florida voters. The callers reportedly said a new law was passed and you can now vote by phone. They also claimed to have the voter's name, address and party affiliation.

"Voters cannot vote by phone, not in any state, so if you get a call like this, it's fraudulent and please report it immediately," said Rice."Try to get the name and number and organization of the person calling you or do a *69 to call them back to get their phone number."

The "Vote-by-Phone" calls have been reported in Miami-Dade County and in Virginia.  A non-partisan voter advocate group called the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights says it's investigating and set-up a voter fraud hotline, 1-866-OUR-VOTE.

In Clearwater, the Republican Party of Pinellas County says it received a handful of complaints as well about a different kind of voter fraud.

"We've have had several calls from children who have parents in nursing homes. They have complained that their parents have received mail ballots and that the nursing home staff has helped fill out these ballots and then when the children have talked to the parents about it, they had been filled out incorrectly," said Charlotte Smith, Executive Director Republican Party of Pinellas County.

Complaints like these come every election year but the Pinellas County League of Women Voters is concerned this year, they are coming awfully early.

"We're worried this could indicate more calls," said Rice.

If you have questions, you can call the State Board of Elections Voter Fraud Hotline at 1.877.868.3737

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