In North Carolina, a registered Democrat with a decades-long voting history receives a call from someone claiming that there’s a problem with his registration. Suspicious, he contacts the North Carolina State Board of Elections. He’s not alone, and it’s not only happening in his state. What’s the purpose of the call, and who is behind it?
WBTV reported in October that there had been complaints in North Carolina that registered Democrats were being contacted by a number that turned out to be owned by a group called North Carolina First. The purpose of the call isn’t clear — the caller is reported to have offered to help voters ‘fix’ their registration, but since none of the voters making reports took the bait, the intent is still unknown, and could be as simple as causing confusion that would lead to voters staying home and not participating in the election.
The state began looking into the calls, but the investigation ended with no real results.
Now, Public Integrity is looking into funding connections between this group and others — Florida First and Pennsylvania First — all registered in Texas. Florida First has been involved in its own controversies, as a canvasser for the group was charged with 10 felony counts of submitting false voter registration information and the group was connected to registration forms submitted with forged signatures, and unauthorized party affiliation changes.
NEW: Tax returns reveal pro-Trump "dark money" nonprofit America First gave $2M+ to fund swing state groups accused of spreading misinfo in NC & voter fraud for switching unwitting FL Democrats' party affiliation with forged signatures, bogus personal info https://t.co/d728tcWbmb pic.twitter.com/kpOz2HRENu
— Anna Massoglia (@annalecta) November 19, 2020
All three groups received funding — from $325k to $1.5 million — from a nonprofit called America First Policies, which Donald Trump has praised. As Public Integrity points out, a nonprofit cannot be focused on partisan political efforts, but can fund voter registration.
The controversies arising from the complaints of partisan behavior — and misbehavior — in these groups, though, warrants concern.
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Steph Bazzle reports on social issues and religion for Hill Reporter. She focuses on stories that speak to everyone's right to practice what they believe in and receive the support of their communities and government officials. You can reach her at Steph@HillReporter.com