Democrats blast text message with incorrect early-voting information

Indiana Democrats say some Hoosiers have received text messages telling them—falsely—that Oct. 30 was the last day to cast a ballot at one of the state’s early voting sites.

The texts contain a link to the website, America First Policies, a conservative site that opens with an image of former U.S. Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, a Republican. The site says it supports policies that put America first.

Indiana Democratic Party Chairman John Zody called a press conference Tuesday to condemn what he said is the spreading of false voting information. He said that it is crucial for Indiana voters to know when and where they can vote.

“If there’s one message to take away, it’s that early voting runs through Monday, Nov. 5,” said Zody. “Hoosier voters can log on to for a complete listing of early voting locations and times. If America First Policies wants to get it right, they can feel free to use our resource.”

Alex Titus of America First Policies said in an email his organization sends texts urging people to vote early or by absentee ballot and directs them to a website which says early voting ends on Nov. 5.  He wrote that he doesn’t know who sent out text messages with misinformation.

“There is nothing about this that’s a misinformation campaign,” Titus said. “We are urging people to vote in every way possible and engage in the democratic process.”

Democratic U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly is locked in a close re-election fight against Republican Mike Braun. Democrats, including Donnelly’s campaign, have been urging voters to cast ballots early rather than wait until next Tuesday, Election Day.

Early on Monday, Republicans criticized Democrats for a flyer they had released which suggested that if voters wanted to cast ballots for the true anti-tax candidate, they should vote for Libertarian Lucy Brenton instead of Republican Braun.

“This Democrat dirty trick is a desperation move, and shows that the momentum in this race is squarely in Mike Braun’s corner,” said Kyle Hupfer, chairman of the Indiana Republican Party in written statement Monday.

On Tuesday, the Indiana Republican Party declined to comment on the America First text messages.

The phone number the texts came from has been disconnected.

Please enable JavaScript to view this content.

Story Continues Below

Editor's note: You can comment on IBJ stories by signing in to your IBJ account. If you have not registered, please sign up for a free account now. Please note our updated comment policy that will govern how comments are moderated.