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ThePlumLIneGS whorunsgov plumline
Posted at 04:46 PM ET, 08/05/2011

Americans for Prosperity sent misleading absentee ballot far more widely than previously known

As you may have heard, the Tea Party group Americans for Prosperity in Wisconsin recently took some heat for sending out absentee ballot applications that misled voters in two state senate districts about the date of the recall elections. Voters in the two districts filed complaints with Wisconsin officials about the ballots, which instructed recipients to return the material on August 11th, two days after the August 9th election date.

Dems pounced on the revelations, charging it was part of a voter surpression scheme. AFP officials said the misleading date was the result of a mistake, claiming it was only intended for voters in the two districts where Democrats are set to face recalls on a later date, August 16th.

The mailer, however, ended up in two districts where Republicans face recall elections on August 9th — hence the controversy. AFP also said it was foolish to argue that they’d send misleading mail to their own members, but Democrats in Wisconsin reported that Dems were getting it, too.

Now AFP has sent out a new email to supporters — forwarded by a labor source — that seeks to clarify the situation. And it appears to acknowledge that the misleading ballot was actually sent to all six districts where Republicans are facing August 9th recalls. Here’s the key part:

Recently, Americans for Prosperity-Wisconsin sent a mailer to provide our members, like you, with the opportunity to vote by way of absentee ballot. The absentee ballot mailing was mailed only to AFP-Wisconsin members in the eight Senate Districts that have recall elections. The return date included on the absentee ballot application (August 11th) was intended solely for the two senate districts with elections on August 16th. However, the printer sent that version out to all districts, including those that have elections on August 9th.
After discovering a typed date error in this mailing to some AFP activists, we reached out and directly called each and every individual on the mailing list to clarify the date of the elections.
Unfortunately, left-wing partisans are attempting to use this honest mistake to score political points — actually accusing us of “voter suppression.” I guess they think we would want to intentionally confuse our own members! It does not take a rocket scientist to see that their attack is nonsensical.
AFP has undertaken an immense get-out-the-vote effort in the upcoming recall elections. And if these attacks from the Left bother you, join us in making calls or knocking on doors to get-out-the-vote.

Note that AFP’s new email blames the printer for sending out the ballot to all districts. Even more interestingly, AFP is using the controversy over its own misleading of voters as a rallying point to get out the vote for Republicans.

By  |  04:46 PM ET, 08/05/2011

 
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