Denise Merrill warns against fake voter registration phone calls

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Individuals in multiple states have received phone calls offering to register them to vote over the phone and, in some cases, offering them an absentee ballot, a press release from Merrill’s office said. (file photo/The Daily Campus)

Individuals in multiple states have received phone calls offering to register them to vote over the phone and, in some cases, offering them an absentee ballot, a press release from Merrill’s office said. (file photo/The Daily Campus)

Connecticut Secretary of State Denise Merrill is warning voters to look out for fraudulent voter registration phone calls after national reports of suspicious calls.

Individuals in multiple states have received phone calls offering to register them to vote over the phone and, in some cases, offering them an absentee ballot, a press release from Merrill’s office said.

Connecticut residents cannot register to vote by phone and must request absentee ballot applications from their town clerk, according to the release.

The callers claim to be from voter registration organization TurboVote, which is run by the non-profit Democracy Works. Merrill said TurboVote is a “reputable organization,” but TurboVote has said the calls are not from them.

“We have received these reports directly from states and are working closely with authorities,” TurboVote said in a tweet. “Anyone can register to vote securely using our tool, but please do not give out your personal information over the phone.”

Democracy Works said in a statement that they have received reports of the calls from election officials.

“We do not conduct voter outreach over the phone- this was not Democracy Works nor anyone affiliated with TurboVote,” the statement from Democracy Works said. “We recognize the seriousness of this issue and wanted to assure you that we are cooperating with state and local election officials, along with federal law enforcement, to provide whatever assistance possible as they pursue relevant leads.”

Democracy Works asks that people report phone calls claiming to be from TurboVote to their secretary of state or another election official.

Merrill said in the press release that her office would like every eligible Connecticut voter to register to vote but that registration will never take place over the phone.

“It is critical that voters are aware of this potential scam and do not give out any personal information over the phone,” Merrill said. “If you receive one of these calls, hang up and report the call to Taffy Womack at the Secretary of the State’s office at (860) 509-6117 or email her at taffy.womack@ct.gov.”

People wishing to register to vote can go to their local town hall or to myvote.ct.gov/register, Merrill said.


Gabriella DeBenedictis is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at gabriella.debenedictis@uconn.edu.

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