Dirty tricks: Koch-backed group mails out misleading voter registration info in NC
An election mailer sent out to North Carolina voters by a Koch brothers-backed advocacy group contains misleading and incorrect voter registration information that may suppress voting, reports the News Observer.
The information contained on a “official application form” was sent to potential voters by Americans for Prosperity, a national conservative group based in Arlington, Virginia.
Hundreds of people who received the packet have contacted the State Board of Elections complaining that the information in it is confusing, contradictory, and in some cases, incorrect.
Joshua Lawson, a public information officer at the State Board of Elections said, “The phone calls have consistently been all day, every day.”
According to the State Board, the voter registration form contains two different due dates: 25 or 30 days before the election.
The form also states that it should be sent to the State Board of Elections, and comes with an envelope addressed to board — although the form is supposed to be sent to the N.C. Secretary of State’s office.
The form also contains an incorrect phone number for voters to call if they have any questions — directing them to Secretary of State’s office which does not handle elections — and a wrong zip code.
Voters are also told that, after registering, they will be notified of their precinct by their local county clerk.
“There’s no county clerk that would do these things,” explained Lawson. “It would come from the county board of elections or the elections director, under their signature.”
Alison Beal of Wake Forest received one of the forms at her home, but it was addressed to her brother-in-law, who lives in a different county. Beal said she is not a member of Americans for Prosperity and stated that her brother-in-law wouldn’t be a member either.
Beal said that while she thinks the false information could be an honest mistake, it could also deter people from registering.
“It seems like something you would want to pay attention for, if you really want to get people to register to vote,” Beal said.
Adam C. Nicholson, a spokesman for Americans for Prosperity, has declined to say how many people were sent the forms, where the group obtained their voter lists, or how the mistakes occurred.
Incumbent Democratic Senator Kay Hagen is currently in a tight battle with Republican North Carolina House Speaker Thom Tillis, and Americans’ for Prosperity has spent millions in the state in an attempt to unseat her.