“Voter fraud is a felony. Up to 3 1/2 yrs and $10,000 fine,” reads a billboard that has gone up in Black and Latino neighborhoods in Cleveland, Milwaukee and Cincinnati. Voter fraud is as rare as lightning strike deaths, but voter intimidation has been becoming more and more common—in the form of misleading television ads, poll watching, early voting laws, and now, billboards. To the uninformed, "voter fraud" sounds like a dire threat to free elections, which makes it a perfect smokescreen to mask attempts at voter suppression.
Clear Channel, a subsidiary of Bain Capital, owns the billboard but disavows the message, claiming they are not responsible for the language. The billboard was anonymously funded by “by a private family foundation.” The company has rejected billboard ads on other grounds in the past.