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Sat May 1, 2021, 11:43 AM

G.O.P. Seeks to Empower Poll Watchers, Raising Intimidation Worries

This is why we need to vote and fight for free and fair elections. First, much has been made about the polling errors. Yet, isn't the obvious answer due to voter suppression and intimidation. For example, when the Governor of Texas limits Houston to just one ballot drop off box in the middle of a pandemic, he is doing so for a reason.


Likewise, when Republicans try to to empower election workers to engage in voter intimidation, it is because they know that voting matters. The most important step to fighting this is to stay active and vote. 2022 is just as important as 2020, because Republicans are reacting to 2020 by trying their best to suppress the vote and encourage voter intimidation.


HOUSTON — The red dot of a laser pointer circled downtown Houston on a map during a virtual training of poll watchers by the Harris County Republican Party. It highlighted densely populated, largely Black, Latino and Asian neighborhoods.

“This is where the fraud is occurring,” a county Republican official said falsely in a leaked video of the training, which was held in March. A precinct chair in the northeastern, largely white suburbs of Houston, he said he was trying to recruit people from his area “to have the confidence and courage” to act as poll watchers in the circled areas in upcoming elections. A question at the bottom corner of the slide indicated just how many poll watchers the party wanted to mobilize: “Can we build a 10K Election Integrity Brigade?”

As Republican lawmakers in major battleground states seek to make voting harder and more confusing through a web of new election laws, they are simultaneously making a concerted legislative push to grant more autonomy and access to partisan poll watchers — citizens trained by a campaign or a party and authorized by local election officials to observe the electoral process.

This effort has alarmed election officials and voting rights activists alike: There is a long history of poll watchers being used to intimidate voters and harass election workers, often in ways that target Democratic-leaning communities of color and stoke fears that have the overall effect of voter suppression. During the 2020 election, President Donald J. Trump’s campaign repeatedly promoted its “army” of poll watchers as he publicly implored supporters to venture into heavily Black and Latino cities and hunt for voter fraud.

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Reply G.O.P. Seeks to Empower Poll Watchers, Raising Intimidation Worries (Original post)
TomCADem May 2021 OP
gulliver May 2021 #1
TomCADem May 2021 #2

Response to TomCADem (Original post)

Sat May 1, 2021, 11:53 AM

1. Seems like two can play at that game.

If somebody recruits people from the "largely white suburbs" to "watch" the people in "largely Black, Latino, and Asian neighborhoods," then said neighborhoods should recruit people to watch the voting in largely white suburbs. And everyone should be sure to carry signs thanking Republican yahoo leaders for making poll watching a thing.

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Response to gulliver (Reply #1)

Mon May 3, 2021, 01:00 AM

2. Who do you think would be arrested for voter intimidation?

This is an asymmetric fight. It is sort of like the faux outrage about BLM/Antifa protesters versus right wing/racist extremist who actually are plotting to kidnap Democratic politicians or to overthrow the government.

It is a mistake to assume that liberal leaning minorities would be treated the same as white, right wing observers who are trying to disrupt the vote.

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