Arizona has recently been a hotbed for voter suppression and intimidation activity. However, a new tactic by a right-winged “vigilante” group might have upped the stakes. A group that dubbed themselves “Ben Sent Us,” after Benjamin Franklin, have been sending letters to various Arizona Democrat chairpersons threatening multiple things, according to the Daily Beast.
Some letters say these anonymous members “will be locating your homes” and if any voting discrepancies are found, “will be considered a traitor and dealt with accordingly, as will you.” Ordinary citizens have also been receiving flyers indicating they are being watched.
As for the origin of the group itself, nobody knows. The Daily Beast points out that the group’s website is hosted by OrangeWebsite, known for anonymous and encrypted web hosting.
“You will not know us; you will not see us; you will not know what we do,” according to a statement on the group’s website. “We might be your neighbor, your coworker, your cleric, your grocer, or the teacher in your school. We might be the person walking their dog down your street in front of your homes.”
“Ben Sent Us” was also cited in an election lawsuit filed to a federal court in Phoenix. The suit also named Clean Elections USA founder Melody Jennings who has promoted the anonymous group on her Truth Social account. Arizona Democratic Party chair Senator Raquel Téran placed the blame squarely at the feet of new Trump-endorsed candidates like Blake Masters and Kari Lake for cultivating this environment.
“The recently reported voter intimidation in Arizona is a direct result of the blatant lies Republicans like Blake Masters, Kari Lake, Mark Finchem, and Abe Hamadeh are spewing about our elections,” Téran said, referring to the state’s GOP nominees for U.S. senator, governor, secretary of state and attorney general.