Conservative Group Photoshops Black Woman's Face Out of Photo in Anti-Voting Rights Mailer

A conservative group connected to Colorado’s Secretary of State has been sending political mailers — including a picture of a darker-skinned woman whose face was digitally removed and replaced with a white woman’s face — in an attempt to oppose a landmark voting bill that may soon become law. Colorado is currently considering a major piece of legislation to improve the state’s voting laws by implementing Election Day Registration, automatically sending mail ballots to every voter, and creating a real-time voter database to detect and prevent fraud. It passed the House last week and will now be taken up by the Democratic-controlled Senate. Secretary of State Scott Gessler, a frequent speaker at True The Vote events who uses his perch to warn about the supposed threat of voter fraud, is leading opposition to the bill, which is supported by a number of Republican County Clerks and the Colorado County Clerks Association. Now, a dark money group named the “Citizens for Free and Fair Elections”, which lists its address as that of Gessler’s former firm, the Hackstaff Law Group, is sending out photoshopped mailers in an attempt to pressure the election clerks into switching their position. Here is the mailer:


[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_small","fid":"469553","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","typeof":"foaf:Image"}}]]

The mailer’s background was taken from the following Getty Images photo:

[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_small","fid":"469594","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","typeof":"foaf:Image"}}]]

Except for two key differences. The original photo included a darker-skinned woman in a white hoodie sweatshirt, but the altered version in the mailer took out her face and replaced it with the exact same face of the white woman standing alongside. In addition, a dark-skinned man standing behind her in the photo was removed from the mailer entirely.

ColoradoPols, the first site to catch the photoshop job, shows the two side-by-side:

[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_small","fid":"469595","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","typeof":"foaf:Image"}}]]

Gessler, in a statement released Sunday evening, denied involvement in the matter.

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