Kansas voters texted wrong polling site information
TOPEKA, Kan. (KAKE) - Six billion text messages are sent per day around the world.
Some of those 6 billion sent were to Kansans like Patrick Heath, telling him where his polling place is for election day. "I was like, oh, cool. now I don't have to, like worry about where I gotta go vote. it tells me right there," Health told KAKE News.
The problem is that polling site Heath was sent was wrong and he didn't know that until he saw other people posting about it on social media. "The fact that it had my real address was more validation that it would be correct.”
Heath was not the only one to get those texts. KAKE on your side got several emails and messages from people about these texts on Monday. So has the Sedgwick County election office. Commissioner Angela Caudillo says “the election office is not sending text messages with any information regarding elections to voters.”
Kansas Secretary of State Scott Schwab also releasing a statement about the texts, saying in part "voters should be on high alert for these messages" and calling them misinformation.
Caudillo says that anyone who has received these texts should go and double check the polling location for election day for what’s accurate. "Whether it's about advanced ballot, early in person voting, whether we received a ballot, or where to vote on election day, please get that from trusted sources.
If need to know where your polling location is you can click here.
Texts were sent on behalf of three groups, Voting Futures, Voto Latino and Black Voters Matter. KAKE news reached out to all three, but only received responses from Voto Latino and BVM. A spokesperson for each organization says this was a problem with a third-party vendor. That vendor, Movement Labs, also put out a statement taking blame for the mix-up. You can find the full statements below.
They have sent follow up texts to voters with the Secretary of State's website to correct any misinformation.
“We've been made aware that text messages have been sent to voters via our third party vendor, Movement Labs, which included incorrect polling place information. Movement Labs has acknowledged and taken full responsibility for the error, as BVM did not endorse these text messages. We are deeply sorry for the confusion that these text messages created and have taken steps to correct this situation. We are thankful for the community members and media representatives who brought this to our attention.
Our mission is to build power in Black communities, and part of how we do that is by providing accurate information to community members who are often excluded from voter mobilization efforts. The last thing we ever want is for our outreach to be confused with intentional disinformation which is sometimes targeted to our communities. We look forward to working with community-based groups who would like to help us to be even more effective at building power in our communities.”
From Voto Latino:
“We have been made aware of the issue and it is not our intent to create voter confusion. Our vendor had a database issue, and we are working to contact everyone that might have been affected with the correct information. Additionally, we have suspended any future campaigns with this vendor.”