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More attempts to dissuade Latino voters reported

Outside a polling place today in Bell, Calif.
Outside a polling place today in Bell, Calif.
Photo by Leslie Berestein Rojas/KPCC

Two weeks after news broke of an unaired ad campaign urging Latinos not to vote, efforts to dissuade Latinos from the polls have reportedly continued into the eleventh hour.

Election Protection, a polling watchdog group, has told the Associated Press that about two dozen Los Angeles residents have received automated calls in Spanish and printed mailers instructing them not to vote until tomorrow, the day after the midterm election. An official from the group said it's believed that most of the calls and mailers have been received since yesterday morning.

Some voters in Bell, a city in southeast Los Angeles County that is more than 90 percent Latino, reported receiving similar calls recently. Father and son Porfirio and Irving Quijada, both of Bell, said this morning at their polling place that they had received an anonymous voicemail message about two weeks ago urging them not to vote, and that others in their neighborhood had received calls like this, too.

"They called me and told me not to vote," said Porfirio Quijada, 53, who said he'd never received such a call in previous election years. "I didn't get a name, it was a message."

Two weeks ago, a GOP-affiliated group that calls itself Latinos for Reform released English- and Spanish-language television spots online aimed at Latinos with the message, "Don't vote." A few radio spots with the ad's voiceover were aired by Univision stations in Nevada, but the network declined to air the television ads and stopped airing the radio spots following complaints.

Election Protection has a list of trouble spots in elections around the country, including in Houston, Texas, where African-American voters have been targeted with a deceptive flyer.