One hundred and forty billboards in the swing states of Wisconsin and Ohio are slated to be taken down after the company behind them determined that the group behind them violated its policy on political-themed ads by remaining anonymous.
The billboards featured a large gavel with the words “Voter Fraud is a Felony,” and then noting the punishment. Critics say they were meant as “voter suppression” because the signs mainly went up in minority communities.
“This billboard is nothing but a symbol of pure, unadulterated voter suppression to target an African American community,” Ohio Sate Senator Nina Turner told WEWS-TV earlier this month.
And now the controversial signs are coming down. Reuters reports:
After discussions, the sponsor, whom Clear Channel Outdoor has called a “private family foundation” but declined to name, “thought the best solution was to take the boards down, so we are in the process of removing them,” the company said in a statement.
Crews on Monday will begin taking down 30 billboards in Cleveland, 30 in Columbus and 85 in Milwaukee, Jim Cullinan, vice president of corporate communications for Clear Channel Outdoor, told Reuters.
In response to the outcry, Clear Channel Outdoor donated 10 billboards around the Cleveland area that read “Voting Is a Right. Not a Crime!” (Editing By Barbara Goldberg and Mohammad Zargham)
As for felons being allowed to vote, the laws differ from state to state. But there has been a push by the NAACP to make the laws allowing such people to vote uniform.