Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio says he is cutting ties with an anti-immigration organization after the group reportedly piggybacked on his name to make the claim that grassroots volunteers will be at the polls Tuesday stopping illegal immigrants from trying to vote, MyFoxPhoenix reported Friday.
An email sent out by anti-immigration group Ban Amnesty Now had Arpaio’s signature and said that when thousands of illegal immigrants attempt to vote this Election Day, an army of volunteers will be there to stop them
Arpaio denies writing the email and has asked the Tempe, Ariz.-based organization to disassociate itself from him.
Arpaio was once co-chairman on Ban Amnesty Now, but he says he never authorized the email to be sent out under his name.
Laura Brown from the Arizona Advocacy Network says the email is another effort to intimidate Hispanics from heading to the polls.
"We thought ‘Oh my goodness, not again’ -- Arizona has such a long history of voter suppression and dirty tricks," she says. "We're very concerned that they're going to go to the polls and harass voters and try to intimidate them."
The email's claim that thousands of illegal immigrants will head to the polls is just ridiculous, Brown says
"This wild idea that undocumented people are crossing the desert so they can decide who is going to be our next corporation commissioner… anybody who uses their common sense knows that ridiculous and study after study has shown that voter fraud is extremely rare."
Brown did attest, however, to witnessing acts of voter intimidation.
"We seen people show up at the polls with their firearms exposed and asking people where they live and if they have ID," she says.
The Arizona Advocacy Network has asked the Department of Justice to send monitors to the polls. They're also organizing a group of volunteers that will stand out at polling places to make sure voters aren't harassed.