Democrats have approached the FBI and the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate Republican U.S. Senate candidate Jeff Flake after a robocall paid for by his campaign directed some Democrats to the wrong polling locations, party officials said.
Flake’s campaign denied that that any investigation exists. D.B. Mitchell, a spokesman for the Democratic Party, said the party’s attorneys were told that an FBI investigation will be initiated.
“We take this seriously and our attorneys have been told by the FBI that they are preparing to open an investigation now,’’ Mitchell said.
The Arizona Capitol Times reported earlier today that the FBI is considering investigating the robocall*. The FBI did not return calls to confirm whether an investigation is being considered. Assistant U.S. Attorney Dominic Lanza confirmed that Democratic Party officials reached out to them and that the conversation about an FBI investigation took place.
Arizona Democratic Party representatives say they reached out to state and federal law enforcement and election officials late Sunday. The representatives said they heard from several registered Democrats that they had received a robocall from the Flake campaign telling them to vote at the wrong polling location.
Greg Jones, one Scottsdale Democrat who received the call, said that even though he’s voted many times at La Camarilla County Club, located at Shea and 56th Street, the voice on the other end told him that he would need to vote at the Faith Christian Community Church of the Nazarene at Thunderbird and 56th Street, about two miles away.
A press release sent out by the Flake campaign today said the robocall targeted 120,000 Republicans, and that some Democrats might have received the call because of outdated voter information or because adult children who belong to a different party live at the same address.
Jones said he, his wife and their two college-aged children are all registered Democrats and they’ve lived at the same location for almost 20 years.
“Surprised, yeah. I don’t know if i would say I was shocked. I’m pretty cynical, following Arizona politics and all,” Jones said. “I’m skeptical that this was a mistake. I believe it was intentional. It may not have been, but that’s certainly what it looks like.”
(Arizona Capitol Times regrets our earlier publication of this story. We incorrectly reported the FBI is initiating an investigation of the Jeff Flake robocall. Instead, the complaint has been referred to the FBI. We apologize for this error and any inconvenience it may have caused.)