Wisconsin groups are calling for a media company to disclose the backers of anti-voter fraud billboards that popped up in the state last month.
Several community groups condemned the billboards Tuesday, which warn that “Voter Fraud is a Felony” and are sponsored by “A Private Family Foundation.” Those who commit voter fraud, the billboards say, could be subjected to up to three years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines.
As TPMMuckraker reported, the Wisconsin Republican Party claimed to have shelved an elaborate plan to coordinate with other conservative groups to root out purported voter fraud in the state’s upcoming election around the same time the billboards popped up.
Several groups held a press conference to condemned the billboards on Tuesday, claiming that they were intended to intimidate and suppress minority voting, the Journal Sentinel reported.
The groups want the owner of the billboards, Clear Channel Outdoor, to remove the ads and disclose who paid for them.
The newspaper reported:
“We’re tired of these tactics and signs like these that keep various groups from participating,” said Jayme Montgomery-Baker, state director of the League of Young Voters. “There are so many other issues we should be talking about, like jobs, education and health care.”
The Rev. Ken Wheeler, pastor of Cross Lutheran Church and a member of the Milwaukee Innercity Congregations Allied for Hope, or MICAH, said: “The message is offensive and implicitly and explicitly creates a climate of fear in the African-American community that was historically denied justice and discouraged from voting.”