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Robocalls with misleading information were sent to Chicago election judges ahead of Nov. 4. Officials have launched an investigation into the messages. In this photo, voters cast their ballots at a polling location in Chicago, Illinois, on Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012. | Bloomberg via Getty Images

Mysterious and “malicious” robocalls sent to Chicago election judges disrupted voting Nov. 4 and triggered an investigation by the Cook County State’s Attorney. Now, the calls are being linked to a pair of Republican activists in Illinois, and party officials are distancing themselves from the messages.

Ahead of Election Day, an unknown number of Chicago election judges received robocalls containing false or misleading information, including directives to vote for Republican candidates. One call incorrectly told judges they must report for additional training; the addresses given lead to an empty lot and a clothing store, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.

City officials have characterized the calls as “intimidation,” the Associated Press notes.

Election officials say the calls are the reason why as many as 2,000 election judges quit or failed to show on Election Day, leading to long lines and mishaps at the polls. However, they would not comment on what effects, if any, the robocalls may have had on election results.

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