Conservative operatives Jack Burkman and Jacob Wohl have been charged with felony voter suppression charges for allegedly trying to stifle turnout during the presidential election in Detroit.
Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel filed a range of charges against the men, accusing them of concocting a robocall scheme that discouraged voting in urban areas, including the motor city.
The calls falsely warned that voting by mail would funnel voters’ personal information into a special database to be used by law enforcement and credit card companies to track old warrants and outstanding debts.
“Don’t be BS’ed into giving your private information to the man,” the call said, in part. “Stay safe and beware of vote-by-mail.”
The pre-recorded messages also lied in stating that the information would be used by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to track people for mandatory coronavirus vaccines.
“Any effort to interfere with, intimidate or intentionally mislead Michigan voters will be met with swift and severe consequences,” Nessel said in a statement.
The calls were made in late August and to nearly 12,000 residents with phone numbers from Detroit’s 313 area code, with many more possibly placed elsewhere across the country, according to Nessel’s office.
“This effort specifically targeted minority voters in an attempt to deter them from voting in the November election,” Nessel went on. “We’re all well aware of the frustrations caused by the millions of nuisance robocalls flooding our cell phones and landlines each day, but this particular message poses grave consequences for our democracy and the principles upon which it was built.”