In Florida, Virginia and Indiana, voters have received phone calls that wrongly told them there was no need to cast a ballot in person on Election Day because they could vote by phone.
(Reuters) - In Florida, Virginia and Indiana, voters have received phone calls that wrongly told them there was no need to cast a ballot in person on Election Day because they could vote by phone.
In Ohio and Wisconsin, billboards in mostly low-income and minority neighborhoods showed prisoners behind bars and warned of criminal penalties for voter fraud - an effort that voting rights groups say was designed to intimidate minority voters.
And across the nation, some employers - notably David and Charles Koch, the billionaire brothers who help fund the conservative group Americans for Prosperity - are pushing their workers to vote for Republican Mitt Romney for president.
Two weeks before what could be one of the closest presidential elections in U.S. history, efforts to mislead, intimidate or pressure voters are an increasingly prominent part of the political landscape. Analysts say tactics typically seen in the last few days before an election are already in play.
“We’ve seen an uptick in deceptive and intimidating tactics designed to prevent eligible Americans from voting,” said Eric Marshall of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, who manages a coalition that has a telephone hot line (1-866-OUR-VOTE) that collects tips on alleged voter intimidation.
Democrats have been more vocal in complaining about such antics. They also cite groups linked to the conservative Tea Party movement that are training tens of thousands of people to monitor polling places on November 6 for voter fraud. The controversial plan has been criticized as an attempt to delay or discourage voting.