The North Carolina state Board of Elections is being swamped with calls from confused residents who were sent blatant misinformation about voter registration by the Koch brothers-backed Americans for Prosperity.
Not only are residents being sent mailers with incorrect information, but some of these mailers are being sent to people who shouldn’t be getting them in the first place. Take for instance Jennifer Odom’s two-and-a-half year old daughter who died in 2012.
“It was disturbing for a couple of reasons,” said Odom. “First, Samantha would only be four-and-a-half years old. So it’s a far cry from the age of voting. Secondly, she passed away two years ago.”
Ms. Odom says she’s gotten three different mailers addressed to her daughter.
Brad Crone, a Democratic consultant, expressed some concerns about AFP’s motives.
“If you didn’t do your due diligence on scrubbing the data,” Crone wondered, “what is the ultimate motive that you’re trying to accomplish?”
But even going beyond the fact that this group has apparently been sending this information out to people who aren’t alive, or even legally allowed to vote, some residents have also reported getting mailers which have the wrong deadlines to register to vote and direct them to the wrong state agency.
Though AFP Deputy Director Donald Bryson says this was all just a big “mistake.”
“It was a mistake,” Bryson said. “We’re not going to make any bones about it. We made mistakes in the mailer.”
I’m sorry, but I’m not buying it. Ms. Odom’s deceased daughter was sent three different mailers. So this wasn’t just a “mistake” in one mailer. This is a problem that’s been repeated numerous times.
And while Bryson is trying to claim that the voter registration misinformation is just a simple “cut and paste error,” that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense either. How would a group of this size, and with the backing that they have, be so lazy with their diligence behind these mailers that they could “accidentally” send some people the completely wrong information about how to register to vote, or even where to go? And please explain to me how a political group which claims they’re trying to increase voter registrations – get something as basic as the deadlines wrong? A “mistake” like that would almost certainly have to be deliberate.
After all, AFP is backed by the Koch brothers, who’ve been caught blatantly lying about the Affordable Care Act hoping to turn Americans against the health care law. So it wouldn’t at all surprise me to see a Koch-backed group like AFP sending out misinformation to voters. Especially since I’m sure they’re well aware that history shows us that the lower the voter turnout, the better it is for the Republican party. And giving Americans the wrong information about registration deadlines, or even where to send their information to register to vote, would be a great way to ensure lower than normal voter turnout.
Oh, and if all of that doesn’t convince you that something shady is going in North Carolina, this isn’t the first time AFP has been involved in sending out misinformation about voting dates. In 2011, Americans for Prosperity sent out absentee ballot applications for eight Wisconsin state Senate recall elections. On these applications they told recipients to return them by August 11th. There was just one slight problem with that – six of the elections were scheduled for August 9th.
The group is now being investigated by the state for these faulty mailers.