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Texts Urging Voters To Support Former IDC Member Incorrectly Say Polls Close At 7:30

Voters in the Northern Manhattan district represented by Democratic State Senator and former IDC member Marisol Alcantara have received text messages and a video urging them to re-elect her, and telling them that the polls close at 7:30 p.m. when they actually close at 9 p.m.

Senator Alcantara is running a tight primary race against Robert Jackson, who lost to her in 2016 by less than 600 votes.

David Friend, a musician and Inwood resident who is volunteering for Jackson's campaign, said he received three text messages over the past few days, the most recent one coming in this morning. They implored him to "Vote with your union! Vote Senator Alcantara today!" and stated that the polls closed at 7:30. Some featured this video:

But Friend, a classical pianist, says that his union, 802 AFM, did not endorse her.

Friend said he felt the texts were "pretty outrageous."

"A lot of Marisol's campaign rhetoric has been about she comes out of the labor movement, she was a union organizer, all that kind of stuff," Friend said. "Literally lying to union members of the political endorsements of their unions is a pretty despicable thing to do."

He added, "it could be a mistake on their part honestly, or, there could be some ulterior motive which, I dunno."

Emails and telephone calls made to the Alcantara campaign were not returned, though Friend said he received this "correction" text message at around 3:30 p.m.

MAcorrection91318.jpg
(courtesy David Friend)

"It's shameful that any candidate or their supporters would try to win by deceiving the voters or depressing the vote," said Richard Fife, a spokesperson for Jackson's campaign, in a statement to Gothamist. "Sadly, it's typical of the campaign run by Senator Alcantara, who was elected as a Democrat then empowered the Trump-supporting Republican minority."

The Board of Elections has not yet responded to our request for comment.

The Attorney General urges voters experiencing problems or issues at the polls to call their hotline at 800-771-7755 or email civil.rights@ag.ny.gov at any time between 6 a.m. and 9 p.m. Attorneys in the Civil Rights Bureau will be standing by to take your calls and emails.

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