A conservative group in Colorado calling itself "Citizens for Free and Fair Elections" has come under fire for a seemingly inexplicable work of Photoshop.
In a letter sent out to voters in two counties, Colorado residents are warned about HB 1303, which they say could allow "felons, illegal aliens -- even the deceased" to cast ballots in the state.
"It is an American's privilege and right to vote...But only if you are an American and you are registered!" the mailer concludes.
The attached photo shows a line of people waiting to vote:
(Image via Think Progress)
But here is the original image from Getty, showing voters in a line in Milford, Virginia -- notice anything strange?
(Photo Credit: Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
If you said yes, several minorities appear to have disappeared, you're right.
ColoradoPols, the first site to catch the change, wrote: "We're astonished to even report this, but it's undeniable: they have Photoshopped out the African-American woman in the original photo. They also appear to have removed an African-American man standing behind her."
The man now-vanished man is wearing a blue sweatshirt in the original photo, and here is Colorado Pols' image documenting the second change:
(Photo via Colorado Pols)
The question remains: who did it?
Bill Ray, a Republican political consultant the group lists as its executive director, said: “We neither approved nor asked for any Photoshopping to be done to the photo.” He blames the company they hired to design and print the ads.
And in fact that company, Wizbang Solutions, has seemingly admitted its role.
"Mike," who declined to give his last name, read a statement on behalf of his company for the Durango Herald: “Wizbang Solutions, in an effort to underscore the theme of voter fraud, edited a stock photo. Our actions were merely to provide a visual context of the same person waiting in line to vote. Any assertions that the editing was for any other purpose is political folly and takes away from the subtle undertone intended by our artist.”
Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler also denies any prior knowledge of the flier, despite the fact that his former law office is listed as the address of "Citizens for Free and Fair Elections," according to the Huffington Post.
The mailer asks voters to call and complain to La Plata County Clerk Tiffany Lee Parker, who supports the bill.
“I have not received one phone call," she told the Herald. In fact, she added: “I’ve just gotten really positive feedback.”