The automated Election Day phone calls telling Marylanders to "relax" because Gov. Martin O'Malley had already won were generated by a Democratic operative who said he was working for Republican Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. The Baltimore Sun tracked the calls, which came while polls were still open, to a company called Robodial.org, a Pennsylvania-based outfit that works exclusively for progressive and Democratic candidates.The company's owner said a representative of Universal Elections of Baltimore paid for and recorded the call. The owner of Universal, longtime campaign operative Julius Henson, acknowledged Friday that he was behind the effort. The recording told voters that O'Malley had been successful and that "the only thing left is to watch TV tonight." It was widely interpreted as an effort to suppress voter turnout in heavily Democratic Baltimore, and it prompted an immediate outcry from Democrats and Republicans alike. Henson acknowledged that the call was made on behalf of Ehrlich, the former governor who paid Henson's companies tens of thousands of dollars this year. But the intent, Henson said, was to motivate supporters of the Republican nominee. "We believe the call was made for voters in Baltimore City who were not going to go to the polls, to go to the polls and vote," Henson said. "It never said, 'Don't vote.'"
Karl Merton Ferron, Baltimore Sun
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