Voter fraud billboards cause controversy

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by Vanessa Murphy

MILWAUKEE --- Community groups spoke out Monday against new billboards which state, "Voter fraud is a felony."

Leaders from Citizen Action of Wisconsin, the Insitutute for One Wisconsin, and other groups said that the billboards are aimed at confusing voters in low income neighborhoods, and they want Clear Channel Outdoor advertising to take the billboards down.

It is unclear who paid for the billboards. The billboards state, "Paid for by a private family foundation."

"Hiding behind the anonymity just provides aid and comfort to the racists who are behind this voter suppression scheme," said Scot Ross of the Institute of One Wisconsin.

A Clear Channel Outdoor spokesman sent CBS 58 News an email Tuesday which said in part:
"The contract in Milwaukee was for 85 locations in the area – and not all are in African American or Hispanic areas. Clear Channel Outdoor doesn't comment on our advertisers campaigns so we have no comment on these ads or the motives behind them. The advertiser put into their contract to remain anonymous.
It is our policy to require any advertiser - including political advertisers -- to have a disclaimer which identifies themselves on the creative. This was not done on this ad which was a mistake, but we can't change the contract now and the ads will remain up.
They were posted over the last 10 days."

The Government Accountability Board told CBS 58 News that there have been no more than 20 cases of documented voter fraud in any statewide election dating back to 2000.

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