Or else

From the voter intimidation file:

Voters in Alaska and Florida reported receiving emails on Tuesday that threatened “vote for Trump or else!” — messages that have prompted investigations in both states. “You are currently registered as a Democrat and we know this because we have gained access into the entire voting infrastructure,” said one of the emails obtained by Alaska Public Media. “You will vote for Trump on Election Day or we will come after you. Change your party affiliation to Republican to let us know you received our message and will comply.”

It sounds so…Mississippi 1964.

The sender claimed to have the voter’s email, phone number and home address. Some of the emails were purportedly sent by the Proud Boys, a far-right extremist group with ties to white nationalism that has clashed with law enforcement during recent protests. But cybersecurity experts say the origin of the messages is unclear, suggesting some of the emails appear to have originated from an Estonian server. The Proud Boys chairman has denied the group was involved.

The Alachua County, Fla., Sheriff’s Office wrote in a Facebook post on Tuesday that it is aware of the emails being circulated and is investigating.

“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,” the sheriff’s office said.

TJ Pyche, a spokesman for the Alachua County Supervisor of Elections, told NPR that election officials are in contact with the FBI. Pyche said hundreds, if not thousands, of voters in the county received the emails and that voters in other Florida counties also received them.

Nina Jankowicz, an expert on disinformation at the Wilson Center, said the reports are concerning.

“It fits into a pattern of voter intimidation we’ve been seeing coming from both foreign and domestic actors who have been pushing narratives about voter safety at the polls, both related to COVID-19 as well as potential violent incidents,” she told NPR.

It also fits into a pattern of citizen intimidation we’ve been seeing coming from Trump for the past five years.

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