A little-noticed trial in Maryland could affect how many dirty tricks voters will see in the upcoming elections — things like anonymous fliers or phone calls telling people to vote on the wrong day, or in the wrong precinct, or that they can’t vote at all if they have an outstanding parking ticket. The tactics are often illegal, but it’s rare for anyone to get caught, let alone end up in court.
The case in Maryland involves the 2010 rematch between former Republican Gov. Bob Ehrlich and incumbent Democrat Martin O’Malley. On Election Day, the Ehrlich campaign knew that things weren’t going well. It was losing African-American voters in droves.
At around 3 p.m., Ehrlich’s political director, Bernie Marczyk, sent campaign manager Paul Schurick an email asking, “What does Julius need to make the city turnout stay low?”
Julius Henson was a consultant hired to help the campaign with the black vote. The city was Baltimore, where many of the state’s black voters live.
Two hours later, Schurick gave Henson the go-ahead to start making robocalls to about 110,000 registered Democrats in and around Baltimore. An unidentified female caller essentially said the election was over.
“I’m calling to let everyone know that Gov. O’Malley and President Obama have been successful. Our goals have been met,” the caller said in the message. “Relax, everything is fine, the only thing left is to watch it on TV tonight.”
In other words, don’t bother voting.
Full Article: Maryland Case May Discourage Political Dirty Tricks : NPR.