It will come as no surprise to anyone who has been paying attention that Ohio is an important state in this election. What will come as a surprise to many is that reminding people that voter fraud is a crime is racist.
A billboard placed at various locations around Cleveland boldly proclaims, “Voter Fraud is a Felony!” and claims that it carries a penalty of “up to 3 ½ years in prison and a $10,000 fine.” But as one of these billboards is in a low-income neighborhood, some Cleveland citizens are claiming that it’s racist and an attempt to intimidate voters. Ridiculous…
The billboard was bought and paid for by an anonymous, private family donation. According to the Cleveland Plain Dealer,
“Several politicians said the ad’s placement, which is near Tri-C and directly across the street from the Arbor Park 600-family development and other public housing, intimidates minority voters, students and felons who may not know their rights.
Cleveland City Councilwoman Phyllis Cleveland, who publicly complained about the billboard on Tuesday, posted a picture of the advertisement to her Twitter account. She said a resident complained to her about the sign. Cleveland wants it out of her ward.
‘They usually try to push cognac and cigarettes on people here in this neighborhood, now they are trying to intimidate them to keep them from voting,’ Cleveland said.
Cleveland said the ward has been a heavily canvassed area politically because voter turnout has been low in the past. She said some people could misinterpret the sign and therefore, not go to the polls on Nov. 6.”
Alright, everybody just calm down. The sign merely states a fact- that voter fraud is illegal. Every day I drive past billboards (bought and paid for by taxpayers, I might add) that warn drivers to slow down, or they will be severely punished. The message: speeding is illegal. Got it. What residents should take away from these billboards is, “Wow, voter fraud is a big deal. Well, then, I suppose I shouldn’t commit voter fraud.” End of story.
“The councilwoman said she will work to get the sign taken down and said that some people in her community have considered buying the space and placing another advertisement on the billboard.
‘Some people in my ward have had issues with the criminal justice system and could feel like they’re not able to vote,’ Cleveland said. ‘This could be confusing to them.’
According to state law, a felon can register to vote after they have served their sentence in prison.
State Sen. Nina Turner, who drove by the billboard on Thursday, likened the advertisement to intimidation tactics used to keep blacks from voting in the times of Jim Crow. Turner said voter fraud is not a problem in the state.
‘It does not exist,’ she said. ‘For them to target people in the black community is immoral.’”
Excuse me if I am mistaken, but did she really equate reminding citizens not to commit voter fraud to the dark history of Jim Crow intimidation? That is insulting on numerous levels. This lady needs a history lesson so as to appreciate the gravity of her ignorance.
The ACLU of Ohio has brushed off the complaints, claiming that it’s obviously free speech. Still, it is incredible that in Obama’s America, calling an illegal immigrant “illegal” is offensive, voter ID laws are racist and, apparently, reminding people to not tamper with the lifeblood of our democratic process is “racially-motivated voter intimidation.”
Meanwhile, the Black Panthers are free to intimidate voters with billy clubs, and their pal in the Justice Department, Eric Holder, has got their back.