Democrats in a local mayoral race in Richmond, Va. appear to be passing out sample ballots intended to trick voters, according to reports by the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
Bill Laffoon, a notable supporter Democartic Delegate Joe Morrissey’s Richmond mayoral campaign, stood outside a polling place in a heavily Democratic district where he attempted to tie Morrissey’s opponent to Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump.
Laffon had been handing out bright pink “North Richmond Republican PAC Sample Ballots,” which prominently listed Berry, who identifies as a Democrat, as Trump’s preferred candidate.
Laffoon is a member of the Richmond Crusade for Voters, a Democratic organization that endorsed Morrissey, and has personally donated $1,000 to Morrissey’s campaign. When caught and questioned by a Times Dispatch reporter, Laffoon fled.
Richmond Crusade for Voters President Corey Nicholson told the Times Dispatch that Laffoon was acting as an individual, not as a representative of the group.
“It has nothing to do with our campaign,” Marty Mooradian, Morrissey’s campaign spokesperson, told reporters when asked. “I can’t control what those people do, but I can say they did not get a directive from us.”
It is not clear if this activity violates Virginia election laws, but election officials stated on Twitter that they were aware of the issue.
There are no less than 7 individuals currently running for mayor of Richmond. Of these candidates, Berry has raised the most money, according to the Virginia Public Access Project.
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