On Tuesday, the Miami Herald reported that University of Florida students are receiving threatening emails with the subject line “Vote for Trump or else!”
“Alachua County officials were made aware of the emails on Tuesday morning. In one of the emails, the sender told a voter to ‘vote for Trump on Election Day or we will come after you,’ according to a copy obtained by the Miami Herald,” reported Ana Ceballos and Carli Teproff. “‘Change your party affiliation to Republican to let us know you received our message and will comply,’ the email said. ‘We will know which candidate you voted for. I would take it seriously if I were you.'”
County officials and the FBI are reportedly investigating the emails.
The messages came from an address called “[email protected],” a seeming reference to the pro-Trump group the Proud Boys. However, Vice’s Tess Owen spotted a number of red flags suggesting that the messages did not really come from the Proud Boys, and may have been originated somewhere in Eastern Europe. Proud Boys Chairman Henry “Enrique” Tarrio Jr. claims the group was a victim of spoofing and said, “To whoever did this, I condemn these people.”
“The first thing I did was panicked for a brief moment,” said a UF journalism major who received the email and requested anonymity from the Herald. However, she said she is not deterred by the voter intimidation tactic, adding, “I am still going to vote.”
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