According to data from the Texas Secretary of State, registered voters in Texas increased by 7% between the 2016 general election and the March 2020 primaries. While preparing to vote on Election Day, Texans should also prepare for a surge in voting scams.
Voting scams can take many forms, including robocalls asking for donations to a political fundraising campaign or attempts to steal your personal information by asking you to register to vote by phone.
Preparation is key this voting season. By educating yourself and planning ahead, you will be better equipped to recognize and avoid these voting scams. Preparing for scams.
• Avoid unknown callers. Voting scams often target victims over the phone, so refrain from answering calls from unknown numbers. If you answer and the caller asks you to vote over the phone, hang up. Remember, spoofing technology can manipulate caller ID, so exercise caution even if it appears a campaign office is contacting you.
• Donate directly. Donations made over the phone can be valid, but it is safer to donate to the campaigns, causes and political parties directly. Visit the candidate’s official website to search for donation opportunities or contact their local campaign office.
• Keep your information safe. Legitimate pollsters may ask about your political affiliation or demographic information, but never your Social Security number or credit card information. If the caller asks for this information, hang up immediately.
Preparing for Election Day.
• Know important dates. While Election Day is Nov. 3, be aware of these other key dates.
o The last day for voter registration in Texas is Monday, Oct. 5. o Applications for Ballot by Mail can be found on the Texas Secretary of State’s website and mailed to your county’s Early Voting Clerk. Mail-in ballot requests must be received by Friday, Oct. 23.
o Early voting takes place from Tuesday, Oct. 13 through Friday,
Oct. 30. • Use reliable sources. Working with reliable sources and outlets is key to avoiding election scams.
o The Texas Secretary of State can provide comprehensive voting information for Texans, including ID requirements and registration.
o VoteTexas.gov is another reliable platform that can help you register to vote.
o Check for polling locations in your county at Vote.org/Polling-Place-Locator. • Plan ahead. Scammers often target individuals navigating complicated situations. Having a definitive plan ahead of time can keep you secure.
o Choose a polling location and know which forms of identification are required to vote there.