Voter fraud! By Republicans Wohl and Burkman

We all know who really commits massive voter fraud — Republicans. Intimidation, gerrymandering, suppressing the vote, those are all in their bag of tricks. So it’s not at all surprising that Jacob Wohl and his pal Jack Burkman were robocalling to minority voters in Michigan to tell them that they’d be in trouble with the authorities if they exposed themselves by voting.

The voice on the call attributed to Wohl and Burkman attempts to trick listeners into not sending in mail-in ballots, falsely warning that the information would be used to track fugitives, collect on credit card debts, and enforce “mandatory vaccines.” The calls also told residents to “beware of vote by mail.”

What is surprising is that warrants have been issued for their arrest.

Conservative operatives Jacob Wohl and Jack Burkman were charged on Thursday for allegedly orchestrating a series of robocalls aimed at suppressing the vote in the November presidential election, Michigan authorities said.

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel filed a slew of charges against Burkman, 54, and Wohl, 22, including conspiracy to commit an election law violation and using a computer to commit the crime of election law. Prosecutors allege the two political operatives were using a robocall system aimed at scaring Detroit voters away from using mail-in voting ballots. The calls, which were made in August, went out to nearly 12,000 Detroit residents.

Both Wohl and Burkman face four felony counts and a maximum sentence of 24 years in prison.

Oh I wish. This is the fate dim duo have been reaching for all these years, and they’ve consistently acted so stupidly that that they’re not likely to put up a reasonable defense. Please let them choose to be their own lawyers, please!


  1. says

    This makes me wonder. At what point did they cross the line from free speech to election fraud? We can expect more shenanigans like this in the future and it’s good that these guys are being punished, but I’m worried about other efforts like this. James O’Keefe has been doing shit like this for years and he’s still on the loose.

  2. numerobis says

    By the way the story points out it’s not just 12k in Detroit but a total of 85k in multiple cities.

    These are state charges so they can’t easily be pardoned by the asshole in chief.

  3. nomdeplume says

    The Right really hate the idea of people voting, they view democracy with fear and loathing.

  4. Larry says


    What they really, really hate, however, is having to let go off the steering wheel. They will violate rules-of-law, personal integrity and ethics, and even abandon adherence to the Constitution that they claim to love so much to keep their hands on it.

  5. says

    Why are they still actually not in prison already? There’s black folks serving years and years for parking tickets and these guys commit crime after crime after crime.

  6. raven says

    President Donald Trump tweets he and first lady Melania Trump test positive for Covid-19

    (CNN)President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump tested positive for coronavirus, the President announced early Friday morning, an extraordinary development coming months into a global pandemic and in the final stretch of his reelection campaign.

    The diagnosis amounts to the most serious known health threat to a sitting American president in decades. At 74 years old, Trump falls into the highest risk category for serious complications from the disease, which has killed more than 200,000 Americans and more than 1 million people worldwide.

    latest headline at 11:30 PDT.

    Says it all.

  7. gijoel says

    @Raven I heard it on the news a few hours ago. Am I a terrible person for hoping he winds up in hospital?

  8. says

    @#13, gijoel:

    No. At this point, the bar for “terrible person” is considerably below that. For example, I was grinning and chuckling for half an hour when I heard about it, and that’s still not even close to the most terrible reaction I’ve read about.

  9. gijoel says

    @14 I fear my irony meter will explode if this kills him. His doctor did say he was in excellent health, so maybe he’ll pull through.

  10. Snarki, child of Loki says

    I, for one, look forward to the coming reports of Trump ingesting massive doses of hydroxychloroquine, with injections of lysol and bleach, to totally dominate and defeat the Karmavirus.

    ’cause he’s a very stable genius, or so I’ve heard.

  11. komarov says

    “[…] falsely warning that the information would be used to track fugitives, collect on credit card debts, and enforce “mandatory vaccines.” The calls also told residents to “beware of vote by mail.””

    Ignoring the vaccine claim for a moment, it’s depressing to consider that this sounds like a reasonable fear. Of course a government with an authoritarian bent would use and abuse informiation gleaned from voting to track down petty offenders or people with overdue bills, never mind the consequences. Whatever do you mean, free and safe elections for all?

    In a similar vein, early during the pandemic German police started using restaurant guest lists that had been introduced to facilitate contact tracing in case of infections. They were intended for contract tracing only – an explicit promise by the government to protect privacy – but the police didn’t care. The criticisms that this could undermine measures to contain the pandemic as it gave people reason to put false information on those lists were also pretty much ignored.

    As for the vaccine claim by itself, that’s a actually stroke of evil genius. It’s the sort of thing you get when you let pseudo-science and bullshit fester in your society: lots of vulnerabilities ready-made to be exploited. And aside from the reasonable concerns (money, cops beating down your door), the more nonsense ideas you have floating around, the wider the net you can cast. Cutbacks to education at work, with tangible benefits for the Liar party.

    P.S.: I heard about Trump’s test but can’t muster much more than a meh. It would be a pity if he dropped dead before being (as if) voted out by a continent-sized landslide. Besides, how bloody annoying would Trump The Martyr be? Part of me wonders if this is just another lie so, for example, he can ‘bounce back’ and lend credence to his “minor disease” lies. And another part wonders if they’re now serving bleach at the White House. Take your own advice, Donald, bottoms up…

  12. Nemo says

    @komarov #17: It’s not reasonable once you realize that the government already has that information about every registered voter, regardless whether the individual votes absentee, in person, or not at all. Requesting an absentee ballot doesn’t give away anything new.

  13. says

    @#17, komarov:

    Besides, how bloody annoying would Trump The Martyr be?

    But on the other hand, you are forgetting the immense entertainment value of watching QAnon believers insist that Trump is still alive, and insisting that at any moment his corpse is going to spring out of its grave and lead some sort of insurrection. Watching them tie themselves in knots trying to explain how Trump could die of an illness they insist does not exist, as this becomes increasingly implausible, will be almost as satisfying as the event itself, in the event that Trump does indeed succumb. “Breaking news: Former President Trump is still dead.”

  14. komarov says

    Re: Nemo (#19)

    I confess I don’t know the details of how everything operates in the US (or here, for that matter). Nevertheless, even if the government nominally has your details, applying for the ballot might involve updating old information. Besides, writing to the authorities means making them aware of you. Both could be of concern to people who have concerns, legitimate or otherwise, that said awareness could create problems.
    There’s also the “debt collection” bit, which is not, in the first instance, something a government does unless said debt has crossed over into something criminal. The implication is that the information provided would not be restricted to government use (or exclusive use in the election), but could be used by businesses or other parties as well. That, too, could be a deterrent to people who don’t want to attract any attention or simply value their privacy. The claim boils down to, “your private information is sold off”. A lie, hopefully, but not that far-fetched since it is a regular business model.

    Re: The Vicar (#17):

    While I know what you’re getting at I’d say the point of maximum implausibility was passed long ago. I’d add something about plumbing the depths of idiocy, but sadly deap-sea and, uh, mountaineering (?) metaphors don’t mix well. In any case, US politics haven’t been entertaining for a long time and the conspiracy theorists have been mental contortionists since forever, so whatever you or I or anyone can come up with they shall take in their stride.