Virginia’s Attorney General is telling a nonprofit group to stop handing out flyers with what he described as false information about voting.
A cease-and-desist letter has been sent to the D.C.-based “Look Ahead America.”
“Democracy is so important for me and misinformation in our elections will simply not be tolerated in Virginia,” Attorney General Jason Miyares told WTOP. “The ability to participate in free and fair elections is an incredible right and the very cornerstone of our democracy.”
Door hangers distributed by the group under the name “Virginia Voter Assistance” made claims like “failure to vote may result in a loss of: Social Security Income, Medicare Eligibility, Unemployment Benefits, Child Tax Credits and Child Custody Rights, Concealed Carry Permit” and “failure to vote may also result in seizure of personal assets, including but not limited to firearms, bank accounts, cars, and real estate.”
They were found at many homes in Prince William, Fauquier and Loudoun counties.
In the letter issued Tuesday, the office of the Attorney General stated that their distribution violates several Virginia law misdemeanors in regards to voter intimidation and knowingly communicating false information intended to impede voting rights.
Assistant Attorney General Travis S. Andrews wrote, “We ask that you immediately cease and desist from distributing any materials that contain such intimidating, threatening, or coercive information.”
“One of my strongest beliefs is that it should be easy to vote and hard to cheat,” Miyares told WTOP.
Look Ahead America is defending it’s actions. In a release the group wrote, “If anything, our flyer undersells the danger of not voting because while we say that these benefits ‘may’ be lost, the loss of several of them is nearly inevitable without urgent engagement from voters at the ballot box.”
Prince William County Director of Elections Eric Olsen released a statement on Friday assuring any residents that if they decide not to vote in November’s election, no government official will show up at their door step to revoke assets and benefits.