Today’s Washington Post takes a look at the unprecedented level of dirty tricks plaguing this year’s election:
Registered voters who have been somehow unregistered. Democrats who suddenly find they’ve been re-registered as Republicans. A flier announcing that Election Day has been extended through Wednesday.
… Students at Florida State and Florida A&M universities, some of whom signed petitions to legalize medical marijuana or impose stiffer penalties for child molesters, unknowingly had their party registration switched to Republican and their addresses changed.
… Local papers have traced some of the problems to a group hired by the Florida Republican Party, which has denounced the shenanigans. Switching voters’ party affiliations does not affect their ability to vote, but changing addresses does, because when voters shows up at their proper polling places, they will not be registered there.
The college scam has also made an appearance in Pennsylvania, along with a separate scam last week in Allegheny County, where election officials received a flurry of phone calls about fliers handed out at a Pittsburgh area mall and mailed to an unknown number of homes. The flier, distributed on bogus but official-looking stationery with a county letterhead, told voters that “due to immense voter turnout expected on Tuesday,” the election had been extended. Republicans should vote Tuesday, Nov. 2, it said — and Democrats on Wednesday. A criminal investigation has been launched.
Authorities in several states also are investigating claims, by former employees of groups paid by both the Republican Party and Democratic-leaning interest groups, that they destroyed or did not turn in new registrations by voters of the opposite party.
In Wisconsin, a flier is circulating in Milwaukee’s black neighborhoods that purports to be from the “Milwaukee Black Voters League.” “If you’ve already voted in any election this year, you can’t vote in the presidential election,” the flier reads. “If you violate any of these laws, you can get ten years in prison and your children will get taken away from you.”
… Meanwhile, in Lake County, Ohio, some voters received a memo on bogus Board of Elections letterhead informing voters who registered through Democratic and NACCP drives that they could not vote. Election officials referred the matter to the sheriff.
… In South Carolina, Charleston County election officials warned voters Friday to ignore a fake letter that purports to be from the NAACP. The letter threatens voters who have outstanding parking tickets or have failed to pay child support with arrest.