GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. - One woman in Gwinnett County claims she felt threatened by political text messages that she received. She says the campaign knew specific details about her including the type of car she drives.
“’Our records show that you are an African-American woman, the midterm election is tomorrow, we strongly,’ in all caps, ‘encourage you to vote Republican,’ in all caps, ‘you must comply,’” Heather Garrett read one of the texts she received.
Garrett couldn'tt believe these messages on her phone are meant to encourage her to vote.
“’We know you drive a white GMC,’” Garrett read another text.
Garrett says the person sending the messages did know accurate personal information. After a few messages were exchanged, she tried to throw the messenger for a loop.
"And then I said, ‘I thought you should know, I just got his number two days ago, I'm a white female and I will be voting democratic on tomorrow.’ ‘You're not white. We know your maiden name is McCantz, but that's okay, we need some of your people's votes to make things work,’” Garrett says. “And that's true, my maiden name is McCantz. I don't know how they know all of this about me. I don't know who this is."
Garrett says her next step was to notify authorities. But, she says, she can't believe the lengths that this person went to demand her vote.
"At first, I will admit, I was a little intimidated, because of the personal information. I felt as though it was someone that knew me. That had information about me, that was concerning. So, I just said ‘I am not going to let that intimidate me. I am going to go out and vote,’” Garrett says.
And that's exactly what she did. She's concerned that the bombarding messages may be too much for some voters. She's encouraging voters to stay strong.
"This is a free country. We can vote for who we want to and I participated and that's the end of the story, but I did want to let people know, do not feel intimidated," says Garrett.
At this point, there's no way to verify the origin of many of these messages.
The FCC, the government agency tasked with overseeing the telecommunications industry, says "unwanted calls – including illegal and spoofed robocalls - are the FCC's top consumer complaint and their top consumer protection priority."
Anyone who received a phone number associated with these messages should contact the FCC through their website at https://consumercomplaints.fcc.gov/hc/en-us