Johnson County woman received phone call with false information about Election Day

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IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG) Some voters in Johnson County received phone calls and text messages with false information about Tuesday's midterm elections.


The messages often said voters need to bring their absentee ballots to the polls, even if they didn't request one.

Paula Altmaier said the man she talked to on the phone sounded genuinely sincere and caring.

"It doesn't matter how sincere a person was, the message is wrong,” Altmaier said.

Altmaier has been an avid voter for 42 years. In that time, she never had a situation like today's phone call.

"This morning I received a call from a New Mexico area code,” Altmaier said.

On her home phone, a man asked if she sent in her absentee ballot. She replied, "No," adding that she plans to vote on Election Day.

"He said 'Well we see you received a form.' And I said 'No I didn't and I intend to vote tomorrow at the polling station.' Then he said 'I needed that request form with me in order to vote,’” Altmaier said.

Altmaier knew that couldn't be true, so will still head to the polls Tuesday. She hopes others will do the same.

"Even if someone says something to you as oh you don't have something quite right well go to your polling place if there really is something wrong they will let you know there don't fall for this other stuff,” Altmaier said.

Johnson County Auditor Travis Weipert agrees with that plan.

"One of the things that I told each one of our poll training classes is if you have a question call us,” he said.

Weipert said office is aware of those phone calls and other text messages. He said, unfortunately, scams like that are common before elections.

"We've seen this with candidates and stuff sending messages that people that can’t even vote from them or live their district.” Weipert said.

His best advice; don't trust any text at this point, and be leery of phone calls.

And if a voter does get a sketchy message, be sure to report it to his office, just like Altmaier did.

"It's clearly preying on people who are not aware of things or perhaps have a different point of your from yours,” Altmaier said

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