How Did Robo Calls Affect the Election?

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According to TPM Muckraker.com, voters in more than two dozens districts throughout the country were barraged with sometimes-harrassing robo calls in the weeks prior to the election. In at least seven of those districts, Democrats lost by margins of only a couple of thousand votes.

In Florida’s 13th District, Democrat Christine Jennings, who is involved in a recount, lost the election by only 386 votes. In the last three weeks of the campaign, the Republican Party spent over $58,000 on robo calls against Jennings. In the case of Jennings and other candidates, people receiving such a call at first thought the caller was the Democratic candidate because of the call’s misleading opening. Several voters complained about this. If a voter listens to the entire call, only then does she discover that the call comes from the Republican Party. But the majority of people, of course, hang up. The problem is that the phone rings again…and again and again and again, until the voter listens to the entire call. Since most people do not want to listen, voters are left with the impression that they are being harrassed by Democratic candidates.

Democrats have asked the FEC, the FCC and the Department of Justice to investigate the nature of campaign robo calls.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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