Trump's voter suppression machine kicks into high gear


And harassing election officials is one of their weapons:

The strategy was on display last week when Trump tweeted about nine “discarded” ballots in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania. Then this week the hot spot was a Philadelphia fight over whether Trump campaign poll monitors could be allowed into newly opened satellite election offices.

Trump poll monitors requested entry, but city election offices said neither party's observers had a legal right to access the buildings. Under state law, poll monitors can only observe live, in-person voting and not places where people can register, fill out early ballots and drop them off to be counted weeks later. The campaign sent observers to the sites, and in one case, they were turned away by a Republican on the city election commission. The campaign sued the city Thursday night in an effort to gain access to the sites.

After tearing apart the Postal Service to slow down the mail (and make people fear mailing in their ballots), of course they're going to haunt boards of elections sites where people go to drop off their absentee ballots. All it takes is a few high-profile incidents and people will be afraid to do that, too. Wisconsin's Election Commission developed guidelines for poll watchers in 2018 that is a good model:

According to a summary of state law provided by the state Elections Commission to groups in 2018, observers are not allowed to:

Interact with voters.
View the voter identification or proof of residency documents presented by voters.
Take photos or videos of the polling place while it is open.
Handle an original version of any election document, including ballots, poll books, registration applications or proof of residence documents.
Wear or distribute materials promoting a candidate or issue.

Observers are allowed to raise concerns about individual voters if they have personal knowledge the voter in question isn’t qualified to vote because, for example, they are underage or don't live in the area. All concerns must be supported by specific evidence and brought to the attention of the polling place’s chief inspector.

Observers who abuse the process may be asked to leave the polling place by its chief inspector, who must provide written documentation summarizing the reason the observer is asked to leave.

"Behavior that is disruptive, including conversing with or intimidating voters, or causing undue delays in the registration or voting procedures, will not be tolerated," the 2018 Elections Commission guidance said.

The state also empowers chief inspectors to control the number of election observers on site, allowing them to ask some watchers to leave if the polling place becomes too crowded.

If anybody tries to stop you from voting, gets in your face while election officials ignore their behavior, or if you see that happening to others, make the call:



The whole situation in Philly...

is even dumber than it sounds at first blush. I was a poll watcher (Democratic) in 2008 when I still lived there and worked other elections as a voter protection volunteer for the Committee of Seventy (a good government and voting rights group) so I've seen how this works firsthand. The laws regarding poll watching are very strict in PA. Only officially registered poll watchers are allowed and no one who isn't there to conduct business is allowed in elections offices. The Philadelphia Inquirer just did a story on this incident yesterday, noting that no poll watchers had been certified for the Trump campaign, the Republican party, or any other republican campaign in Philly, which means none of the people trying this stunt were actual poll watchers since you can only be one in the county you are registered to vote in. The whole thing was either a publicity stunt organized by the Trump campaign or a bunch of MAGAs being their usual (stupid) selves and trying to act on Trump's public comments. But in Philly, all that kind of action will do is get them thrown out or arrested.

They're only "outside agitators"

when they come from the left. When they're Republicans, they are "patriots" protecting the vote.

The hypocrisy is mind-numbing. All they are really protecting is white supremacy, but that's a losing battle, just like Gettysburg.