A right-wing militia group in Wisconsin is planning to intimidate African-American voters at polling places in November in an attempt to keep Republican governor Scott Walker in office.
The group, which calls itself the “Wisconsin Poll Watcher Militia,” has made a series of threatening Facebook posts that call for its members to arm themselves and target predominantly black, Democratic districts in the upcoming fall election.
One post said: “Wisconsin Poll Watcher Militia is a force that is armed. So not approach our members by engaging in a physical hostile act, because you are going to get put down like a rabid dog.”
The militia members claim they want to prevent voter fraud. They are compiling a target list of names from the website Put Wisconsin First, which collected the identities of voters who signed the recall petition of Gov. Walker in 2012, and then checking them against lists of those behind on taxes or who have warrants.
The group plans to scan voter lines for offenders.
“We are also gathering high-powered scopes and digital cameras with quality optical zoom features to identify people from a distance,” said another of the militia’s Facebook posts.
Ironically, it is the militia that may end up breaking federal law. Title 18 of the United States Code forbids any “attempts to intimidate, threaten or coerce” voters.
The only proven case of voter fraud during the 2012 election in Wisconsin was done by long-time Republican activist Robert Monroe, who voted in Walker’s recall election seven times.