A series of new radio and print advertisements denouncing Mike Pence are set to go public in Indiana, where an advocacy group has accused the Republican vice presidential nominee of allowing voter suppression. Patriot Majority USA, a group affiliated with the Senate Majority PAC, a super PAC that supports Democratic candidates, is launching an advertising campaign following an Indiana state police raid of the offices of a voter registration program. The advertisements claim that as many as 45,000 people, most of them African Americans, might not be able to vote in the presidential election if investigators put a hold on applications collected by the group. The raid and subsequent accusations of voter suppression come in the final weeks of an election season that has raised widespread concern over voter fraud, due in large part to warnings from Republican nominee Donald Trump of a rigged election and his calls for GOP supporters to monitor the polls on election day. A recent Washington Post-ABC poll found that 46 percent of registered voters – and more than two-thirds of Trump supporters – believe that voter fraud, defined as multiple votes being cast by a single person or an ineligible person casting a ballot, occurs very or somewhat often. But the growing concern over voter fraud has led to arguments from the other side that efforts to prevent fraud, such as poll monitoring, could result in voter intimidation and threaten the democratic election process.
“The use of police intimidation to prevent minority voters from taking part in this November’s elections are currently unprecedented in the United States,” writes Patriot Majority USA on the website dontbetrayindiana.com.
On Oct. 4, Indiana State Troopers raided the Indianapolis office of the Indiana Voter Registration Project, seizing computers, cellphones, and records. The raid was the result of an investigation that began in August, after elections officials in suburban Hendricks County suspected that some applications may have been fraudulent.
On its website, Patriot Majority USA claims that the state police during the raid “violated numerous legal standards and Constitutional protections, including (but not limited to) the rights of registration workers to legal representation when they were detained by police.” Officers also allegedly prohibited employees from videotaping the raid, as well as putting one African American male in handcuffs and denying him the right to an attorney.