A group called Voting Futures Trust is sending out text messages directing voters to the wrong polling location, New Jersey Secretary of State Tahesha Way warned today.
Similar complaints of misinformation have been lodged against the group by election officials in Oregon, Illinois, California and Kansas.
Yoni Landau, a former White House Office of Management and Budget staffer and founder of Resistance Labs, a text consulting firm for progressives, accepted responsibility for the misleading texts.
“Unfortunately, in text messages sent on behalf of Voto Latino, Black Voters Matter, and Voting Futures to voters in KS, NJ, IL, NC, and VA, we sent text messages to encourage voting that has caused confusion amongst voters,” Laudau , the CEO, said. “We take full responsibility for these mistakes and have issued correction texts.”
One New Jerseyan who said he received one of the texts said no correction text was received.
Landau said that in “some of our texts, we sent addresses and images of drop-box locations when we intended only to include in-person early vote locations.”
“We didn’t specify in our text that we were trying to encourage voters to vote early,” he explained. “Some voters familiar with their Election Day location thought we were telling them to vote on election day at an early vote location.”
The organization maintains a website with no contact information, and a Facebook page, but has virtually no digital footprint. The owner of the domain is hidden, and the Tennessee-based phone number connected to text messages does not accept incoming calls. Movement Labs, which is the umbrella group for the dubious texts, does have a website.
“Voters should know that your state and county election officials are the best source for trusted, verified information about our elections,” said Secretary Way. “Voters can check their voter registration, find their polling location, and more at https://nj.gov/state/elections/vote.shtml. We strongly caution voters against relying upon unverified sources when making a plan to vote.”
Way said that voters in need of assistance in determining where to vote may call the voter information and protection hotline at 1-877-NJVOTER (1-877-548-6837) or contact their county clerk or election board.