Just weeks before election day, voter intimidation billboards have popped up in Black and Latino neighborhoods in Ohio and Wisconsin. The billboards threaten voters with lengthy prison time and enormous fines if they commit “voter fraud.” It’s a clear tactic to frighten people of color and keep us away from the polls.
This weekend, ColorOfChange launched a campaign calling on Clear Channel, the hosts of the billboard, to take down the signs immediately. Read the email we sent to our members below and be sure to take action here.
Dear ColorofChange.org Member,
It’s one of the nastiest voter suppression schemes we’ve seen: This week, in Black and Latino neighborhoods in Ohio and Wisconsin, an anonymous group started running outrageous billboards that try to scare people away from voting.1
Allowing an anonymous advertiser to create an atmosphere of fear around voting just as the early voting period begins is unacceptable. Please join us in demanding that Clear Channel immediately take down these offensive and dangerous billboards (and please ask your friends and family to do the same):
These billboards are clearly designed to intimidate voters, and they’re part of a coordinated right-wing attack on the voting rights of people of color. The billboards are hosted by Clear Channel, a media conglomerate owned by Bain Capital — the same company that Mitt Romney co-founded.2 Clear Channel has tried to avoid any responsibility for the ads, saying that the group who paid for them is responsible for the content. But Clear Channel has rejected billboard ads many times in the past.3,4,5
The myth of widespread “voter fraud” has been used to justify voter suppression efforts again and again. As a result, we’ve seen new restrictions on voting and voter registration, including discriminatory voter ID laws and voter roll purges. The fact is that voter fraud rarely occurs. In fact, voter fraud happens as infrequently as death by lightning.6
Clear Channel syndicates some of our country’s most conservative commentators like Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh, and now it is allowing the myth of voter fraud to intimidate Black and Latino voters. Please join us in demanding that Clear Channel immediately remove the billboards, it only takes a moment.
Thanks and Peace,
— Rashad, Arisha, Dani,Charlene, Aimee and the rest of the ColorOfChange.org team