In an ugly Arizona race where party control of the U.S. Senate may be up for grabs, GOP candidate Jeff Flake’s (R-AZ) Senate campaign appears to be purposely misinforming registered Democratic voters in order to suppress their votes.
An NBC affiliate in Arizona reports (see video):
One campaign’s robocalls over the weekend are sending voters to the wrong polling place. And those voters say they’re outraged.
They’re registered Democrats, getting the wrong directions from Republican Jeff Flake’s Senate campaign. Is it sabotage, or is it sloppiness?
The reporters spoke with “half a dozen” registered Democrats who received the robocalls over the weekend; some were directed to polling locations as far as 9 or 11 miles away from their actual polling place. The Democratic candidate disadvantaged by the misleading robocalls, Richard Carmona, says the actions of Flake’s campaign are ” really detrimental to the democratic process.”
A spokesperson for Flake’s campaign gave the local news a written statement that didn’t seem to address the incorrect polling instructions; instead, it offered the excuse that the Democrats who received the misleading calls must live in Republican households. However, all the Democrats rebutted that claim, according to the local NBC reporters, saying there are no registered Republicans in their home.
Let’s take a moment to get to know Jeff Flake. Flake’s the former director of the conservative think-tank, the Goldwater Institute, an organization that is partly funded by Charles Koch, and which has close ties to the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). ALEC’s goal is to draft pro-business, anti-labor bills that “create tax giveaways to Big Business, give tax breaks to the richest, and eviscerate state legislatures’ ability to raise revenue through [future] tax increases,” according to the ALEC Exposed website. In other words, an organization that doesn’t play fair.
So, just for the sake of argument, let’s say that Flake’s campaign is so muddled that it gets two important things wrong: calling registered supporters of the opposing political party AND giving them the wrong polling place. And this happens just one day before a high-stakes election, leading one to ask: Is Jeff Flake really qualified to be a legislator?
Obviously, the more logical conclusion, especially given Flake’s connection to ALEC and the Kochs, is the robocalls are an intentional and brazen example of Republican election fraud. It’s quite remarkable that the campaign went this underhanded route even though the polls show Flake has a 5 point lead over Carmona — thanks, at least in part, to widely publicized personal attacks on Carmona’s domineering personality.
This is not the first reported instance of voter suppression in the Grand Canyon State. Perhaps due to the state’s tenuous relationship with immigrants, Latino voters were misled not once but twice with incorrect election day information.
More hard-to-deny examples of Republican-led voter suppression have been documented elsewhere, particularly in critical swing states, including:
- Ohio election officials cutting early voting hours in Dem-heavy areas
- Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted defying a court ruling in order to suppress Democratic turnout
- The unprosecuted case of a GOP agent trashing Democratic voter registrations in Virginia, and
- Florida’s Republican Governor purging voters from the rolls
- Forged voter registration documents that known GOP election rigger Nathan Sproul’s firm submitted in Florida.
That’s not even counting the news that the Romney family is invested in e-voting machines in Ohio, or the recent assertion by a former National Security Agency analyst that Republicans have been rigging vote totals for a few election cycles.
What does it all mean? The GOP’s claim that they have more “voter enthusiasm” on their side is just a code phrase meaning they are confident that their “voter suppression” will have the desired effect.
This is going to be one wild ride! Please, PLEASE stick out the long lines tomorrow if you haven’t already voted. (Confirm your (real) polling location and hours).
Know anyone who remains on the fence about voting? WATCH OBAMA’S FINAL CAMPAIGN APPEAL TO SWING VOTERS HERE.