Voters in Two States Report Threatening ‘Vote for Trump’ Emails

One of the emails, obtained by The Times, seemed to suggest that it was sent by an American far-right group, but its metadata showed that it originated from an Estonian server.

By Nick Corasaniti, Ben Decker and Stephanie Saul

Voters in Florida and Alaska reported receiving menacing and deceptive emails on Tuesday that used false claims about public voting information to threaten voters: “Vote for Trump on Election Day or we will come after you.” (There is no way for any group to know for whom individual voters cast their ballots.)

One of the emails, obtained by The New York Times, came from an address that suggested an affiliation with the Proud Boys, a far-right group. But metadata from the email shows that it did not come from the displayed email address — “info@officialproudboys.com” — but instead originated from an Estonian email server.

The email obtained by The Times had been sent to a voter in Gainesville, Fla., and was nearly identical to dozens of others that had been reported in the city. Voters in Brevard County, Fla., and Anchorage, Alaska, also reported receiving similar emails.

Mayor Lauren Poe of Gainesville said in an interview that the emails were “a very brutish way of trying to intimidate people from going to the polls,” but that none of the voters he had talked to seemed to have been fooled.

“Most people who had gotten it realized that it was a scam and that there was really no way people were going to find out who you vote for,” Mr. Poe said. “So now I think people are just a little annoyed by it, or think it’s kind of comical how ham-fisted it was — but don’t seem very panicked.”

Federal and local law enforcement authorities in Florida are investigating the emails, and have put out alerts on social media to warn voters.

“We here at the Sheriff’s Office and the Alachua County Supervisor of Elections are aware of an email that is circulating, purported to be from the Proud Boys,” the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office wrote on Facebook. “The email appears to be a scam and we will be initiating an investigation into the source of the email along with assistance from our partners on the federal level.”

Source: Read Full Article