Two years ago supporters of Rep. Gerlach made up to 24 to 24 robo-calls to the phones of voters in Berks County. The calls started by saying, "I have important information to tell you about Lois Murphy."
By starting the calls that way, the receiver of the messages would think that the calls were coming from the Murphy campaign, when in fact they were pro-Gerlach, anti-Murphy calls.
Most people didn't hear the rest of the call because they hung up. The calls were made around the clock, waking up voters and irritating many to the point where they said they wouldn't vote, or they would never vote for someone (Murphy) who would make so many calls disrupting their lives. Some have said that this tactic tipped the scales and allowed Gerlach to eke out a victory last cycle.
It appears that the GOP is using this vote suppression tactic again. In an email I received today, the writer says the following:
The other night I was awakened at 3 am by a phone call from what at first seemed to be a "robo-call" from the Obama campaign. However, the voice sounded like an Obama impersonator, and at the very end of the message I was informed that it was actually sent by the republican party. Apparently this is being done on behalf of the McCain campaign to make people angry at Obama for being awakened by a late-night phone call. Had I not listened to the entire message I would not have known that it didn't come from Obama's campaign. I'll say one thing though, the call did help me make up my mind about who I'll be voting for... Barack Obama.
[Name withheld at writer's request]
This is the only instance I have heard of this tactic so far. If this has happened to you, please let me know so we can build a case for the media. This is an illegal and unethical tactic, if it is indeed happening again, and it must not be allowed to happen again. (All political calls must cite the origin of the call at the beginning of the call.
If this has happened to you, please email us with your contact information and the date and time of the call(s). Please try to record the call or save it if it's on your voicemail. Send the information to: firstname.lastname@example.org