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WICHITA, Kan. — If you get a text message about where to vote, Kansas Secretary of State Scott Schwab said it may be wrong.

Some Kansas voters are getting texts directing them to vote at the wrong polling locations in their county. Schwab said the text messages didn’t come from his office.

Several viewers contacted sister station KSNW about the suspicious texts, including Sedgwick County voter Carla Thompson, who sent a picture of the text. She said it had her correct home address but the wrong polling place.

(Courtesy: Carla Thompson)

“It was strange because the voting location that they sent me along with the picture wasn’t the voting location I went to last time,” Thompson said.

Josh Purdy, another Sedgwick County voter, said he received two text messages.

“They both gave me my correct home address, but then the voting location was like 20 minutes away,” Purdy said.

Schwab said the texts appear to be from an out-of-state organization called Voting Futures.

“Voters should be on high alert for these messages,” Schwab said. “The Secretary of State’s Office does not use third parties to contact voters or share election information on our behalf. State and local election officials are the trusted sources for election information, and I encourage voters to contact our office or their county election office for assistance.”

Voting Futures isn’t the only organization sending bad information about polling locations.

In the Kansas City area, Yolanda McKinney received a text message from a number she did not recognize. In it, Mari with Black Voters Matter reminds her to vote Nov. 8 at a polling location on N. 72nd Street. It even includes a picture of that location, Eisenhower Middle School.

McKinney said there was one problem.

“I’m like, really, are they serious? This is Eisenhower! I’ve never voted at Eisenhower! Why are they sending] this to me?” McKinney said.

Black Voters Matter is a legitimate organization, and on Monday, they sent FOX4 this statement:

“We’ve been made aware that text messages have been sent to voters via our third party vendor, Movement Labs, which included incorrect polling place information. Movement Labs has acknowledged and taken full responsibility for the error, as BVM did not endorse these text messages.

“We are deeply sorry for the confusion that these text messages created and have taken steps to correct this situation. We are thankful for the community members and media representatives who brought this to our attention.

“Our mission is to build power in Black communities, and part of how we do that is by providing accurate information to community members who are often excluded from voter mobilization efforts.

“The last thing we ever want is for our outreach to be confused with intentional disinformation which is sometimes targeted to our communities. We look forward to working with community-based groups who would like to help us to be even more effective at building power in our communities.”

Sharon Brett of the Kansas ACLU said her office has received at least 23 calls about the texts.

“It is certainly mass disinformation,” Brett said.

The Kansas ACLU says another group, Voto Latino, also utilized Movement Labs and had the same error.

FOX4 reached out to Movement Labs and received this response:

“Our mission is to make it easy for voter to know how to vote. In this case, we may have missed the mark by not clarifying that the images and addresses sent were early vote locations, rather than locations voters were familiar with voting at on election day. 

“We know there may have been some wrong or outdated information as well, but we believe that only a small portion of KS voters got incorrect information and that overall the effect of these texts was to help voters know where to vote early. 

“We also sent our correction texts referring voters to the official government website.”

Brett with the ACLU stressed that voters should look up and verify their correct polling location through an official source.

Both Purdy and Thompson decided to double-check their polling location through the official Kansas Secretary of State election website.

“I didn’t think mine changed, and I looked, and mine hadn’t changed,” Purdy said.

Some voters who got a text from Voting Futures got this second text Monday afternoon.

By late Monday afternoon, some of the people who contacted us about the texts said they got another text from Voting Futures.

The new text said that the previous text’s “information may not have been correct.”

The new text also includes a link to the Kansas Secretary of State’s website.

While not everyone received a text with incorrect information, it’s important to confirm the information.

“We encourage any voter that is receiving that text to go get their information from trusted sources,” Sedgwick County Election Commissioner Angela Caudillo said. “You can get that from our website and the secretary of state’s website. Make sure to bring your ID when voting.”

Schwab said voters could also call the elections division at 785-296-4561 if they have questions or require more information.

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