Beware of misinformation in lead up to election


by Diana Zoga / News 4

Posted on November 1, 2012 at 7:48 PM

Updated Friday, Nov 2 at 9:15 AM

( -- Just days before the general election, a text message warning hit Susan Mathews' phone.

It said that the voter needs to select the presidential choice first, if voting a straight Democratic ticket or risk their vote not counting. The message claims that people aren't being told this information, because of dirty campaign tricks.

The warning is bogus and some would argue ridiculous.

But, it's the latest example of misinformation spreading just before the general election.

Mathews received the text from an acquaintance, who got it from someone else, who got it from another person (you get the point).  When she saw it on social media, she became concerned that the message was widespread.

"This is wrong no matter which way you vote or who you're voting for. That's your personal choice: between you, God, and that curtain," said Mathews.

Initially, the message confused her so she called the election board in St. Louis. She was assured that she would not have to employ any special tactics to ensure her vote is counted.

"I thought it was ridiculous that message has been going around e-mail first and now its made it to text messaging," said Mary Wheeler-Jones, the director for the Board of Election Commissioners in St. Louis.

"It's been going around, I think, all over the country saying that. And we don't have straight party voting in Missouri so it's not even possible. And even if we did, it wouldn't be possible," added Wheeler-Jones.

Earlier this week, we told you about cries of voter suppression, intimidation, and fraud. In Florida, people are reporting phone calls that claim voters can stay home on November 6th and vote by phone (not true).

Whether the bad advice is spread by genuinely misinformed people or by those seeking to confuse voters, Wheeler-Jones says, "Don't trust those kinds of things. Trust what you know."

"You go in, you make your own choices."