Koch Group In Hot Water Over Misleading Voters With Mailers

ASSOCIATED PRESS
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In the last few weeks before the Nov. 4 midterm elections Americans for Prosperity, the Koch Brothers-backed conservative organization plans to spend millions in key senate races through digital mail, door-to-door campaigning and other types of advertising.

Those states include, according to The New York Times which first reported the push, Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa and North Carolina, where the group has found itself under fire recently over sending out mailers that included misleading information about voting.

On Tuesday, North Carolina’s ABC affiliate reported that “hundreds of complaints” are flooding into the state Board of elections over “hundreds of thousands of mailers with false information about voter registration sent by Americans for Prosperity.” That report cited Jenifer Odum, who received a letter addressed to her young daughter who would only be about four years old if she had not died two years ago.

On Tuesday, North Carolina’s ABC affiliate reported that “hundreds of complaints” are flooding into the state Board of elections over “hundreds of thousands of mailers with false information about voter registration sent by Americans for Prosperity.” That report cited Jenifer Odum, who received a letter addressed to her young daughter who would only be about four years old if she had not died two years ago.

The report is the latest of a string of coverage about the mailers that started with a piece in The Raleigh News & Observer. A before the North Carolina affiliate report Zachary Roth at MSNBC reported that AFP was being investigated over the mailers, which were sent to hundreds of voters in North Carolina and a cat.

A probe by the state Board of Elections was opened following the North Democratic Party sending a complaint about the mailers. North Carolina Democratic Party executive director Casey Mann, in the complaint, said that the mailers included false information on the deadlines for registering to vote, where to send voter registration forms, and an incorrect ZIP code for the State Board of Elections. Mann described the mailers as “a means of discouraging or intimidating voters in the 2014 General Election.”

Josha Lawson, as spokesman for the North Carolina State Board of Elections, told MSNBC that the board had contacted AFP lawyers and told them to stop passing out incorrect information about voting.

In a statement to The Huffington Post on a Friday late in September Americans for Prosperity spokesman Levi Russell described the forms as “a few minor administrative errors.”

“Americans for Prosperity Foundation has registered thousands of North Carolinians to vote through this registration drive, which is a great thing for the democratic process and getting more involved,” Russell said. “While there were a few minor administrative errors in our mailers and some old information in the data, the program has been highly successful so far. Any large mailing even with 99.9% accuracy is always going to ahve a few inaccurate recipients, but we’ll always be striving to make it better. Ultimately our forms are working as intended— when a resident fills out our form and sends it in consistent with our directions, they will be registered to vote, period.”

See the complaint filed by the North Carolina Democratic Party and the mailers that spurred the complaint below:

Americans For Prosperity mailer

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