An unspecified number of Alaskans received emails Tuesday morning warning them to “vote for Trump or else,” in an incident that’s drawn the attention of the FBI and the state Division of Elections.
Alaskans reported messages being sent Tuesday to people in Anchorage, Soldotna, Homer, Juneau, Sitka, Petersburg, Ketchikan, Bristol Bay and the Fairbanks area, and news reports from Florida indicated that the same messages were sent to at least 183 voters there.
In a copy of the email shared by Anchorage resident Kane Stanton, the sender told Stanton that “we are in possession of all your information (email, address, telephone).”
“You are currently registered as a Democrat and we know this because we have gained access into the entire voting infrastructure,” said the message to Stanton, a 36-year-old hardware store manager. “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.”
The emails also said the senders would know how Alaskans voted. But that’s not possible: The Alaska Constitution guarantees the secrecy of residents’ ballots.
Identical messages were sent to residents of Petersburg, in Southeast Alaska, and in Bristol Bay, in Southwest Alaska.
Federal law bars voter intimidation. But officials would not release details about their response to reports of the emails Tuesday, or speak to the seriousness of the threat.