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Conservative activists who have long promoted unproven and often false claims of voter fraud in California are spearheading a major new effort to capitalize on the upcoming gubernatorial recall vote, attempting to recruit tens of thousands of volunteers to police the polls on election day.

The effort is the outgrowth of a campaign waged for nearly three decades to challenge ballots and voter registrations in California — one often aimed at immigrants, a Times investigation has found.

In November, volunteers from one of the fraud watch groups, the Election Integrity Project, caused disruptions at the polls, sometimes intimidating voters, according to election logs, emails and records filed in federal court.

An observer in Nevada County raised concerns about the race of a woman seen removing ballots from a drop box outside the county building, according to county records. The woman, who was Black, was the county registrar’s wife.

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