Fake Group Tries to Mislead Black Voters in Texas

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With only a few days until the election, ’tis the season for dirty tricks at the polls. In Houston, Texas, flyers telling people not to vote straight down the Democratic ticket have been placed on the windshields of cars at a polling place in a predominantly black neighborhood. TPM has the details:

 

“Republicans are trying to trick us!” the flier reads. “When you vote straight ticket Democrat, it is actually voting for Republicans and your vote doesn’t count. We are urging everyone to VOTE for BILL WHITE. A VOTE for BILL WHITE is a VOTE for the ENTIRE DEMOCRATIC ticket. We have fought too hard to let Republicans use voting machines to deny us our basic rights. We must guard the change and NOT VOTE STRAIGHT TICKET DEMOCRAT!”

 

“YES WE CAN,” the flier read.

 

The flyer says that it’s from a group called the “Black Democratic Trust of Texas,” which doesn’t appear to exist. The name of the group, moreover, seems to be a rip-off of the Texas Democratic Trust, a prominent independent group that’s helped bring the Texas Democratic Party back from the dead (and whose efforts I profiled here).

It’s unclear who’s behind the scheme, but Democrats are convinced that Republicans or conservative activists are responsible. “This is pretty classic in Texas,” Democratic consultant Matt Angle, head of the Texas Democratic Trust, tells Mother Jones. Angle recalls a similar incident in 2008, when black activists in Houston and Dallas were receiving emails that voting for Obama would mean voting for a straight-party ticket. “They’ve gone back to low-tech now,” he adds.

Angle says that Texas Democrats now plan to enlist African-American leaders to do robo-calls in the area “to make sure that people understand that [the flyers] are bogus.” The danger of such misinformation campaigns is that they tend to crop up at the very last minute, before there’s much time to get the correct information out to voters.

Reports of election shenanigans have been plaguing the Houston area throughout the early voting period. The Department of Justice is currently investigating complaints that poll watchers have been harassing and “hovering over” voters in Houston—accusations of GOP-led voter intimidation that have also cropped up in North Carolina, among other places where conservative activists have launched an all-out voter fraud crusade.

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Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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