White Nationalists are taking Trump’s instructions to “poll watch” seriously
For weeks now, Donald Trump has hammered the idea into his rabid supporters’ heads that the election is about to be stolen from them and that they need to organize to prevent voter fraud at the polls on Election Day.
Of course, his base took it a step too far and are now planning a show of force at the polls and are saying they will attempt to deter people they believe to be Democrats from voting on Nov. 8.
White Nationalist leader Andrew Anglin, an editor for the Neo-Nazi website Stormfront, says he is organizing members of the alt-right to set up undercover video cameras at polls in Philadelphia and plans to muster “poll watchers” in all 50 states. Anglin says he also has a plan to hand out liquor and marijuana in Philadelphia’s “ghetto” areas to get people to stay home instead of voting. Anglin says he has teamed up with the right-wing blog The Right Stuff to increase voter turnout and organize poll watchers.
A representative for that The Right Stuff told Politico in an email:
We are organizing poll watchers in urban areas to cut down on the most traditional type of voter fraud. We also will have stationary cameras hidden at polling locations in Philadelphia, to monitor anyone that comes in to vote and make sure that the same people are not voting at multiple locations. If we see people voting in multiple locations the footage will be submitted to the [Federal Election Commission] as well as put out on social media to undermine the legitimacy of [Hillary] Clinton should she steal the election.
The representative, who did not give their name to Politico added:
Many polling locations are in schools, and black schools are so disorderly that pretty much any official-looking white person with a clipboard can gain access to them ahead of time and set up a hidden camera. You don’t really ever even have to speak with an adult. Simply walk in like you belong there and no one even asks you why you are there. So we usually go in teams of two, one person driving and one person dressed as a blue-collar worker with a clipboard, and we set up a hidden camera in the school cafeteria. Go during lunchtime and the teachers are all so busy trying to contain the kids that no one says anything. We already have a few set up.
We also have some teams going in to the ghettos in Philly with 40s and weed to give out to the local residents, which we think will lead to more of them staying home. We have had success with this in the past.
Politico reports members of the National Socialist movement, the Ku Klux Klan, and members of the White Nationalist group American Freedom Party are all deploying members in their areas to informally watch polls for the Trump campaign.
Related: The Leader Of The Nazi Party Is So Happy About Trump He Soiled His Hitler Underoos
William Johnson from the American Freedom Party says his organization is working for the Trump campaign, and hope to watch polls and report anything suspicious:
We have some of our members that are doing poll watching, but they’re not doing it as American Freedom Party members,they’re doing it through the Trump campaign.
The Oathkeepers, a right-wing militia group made up of former law enforcement and military members, also say they will be showing up to polling places to “gather intelligence.” Oathkeepers normally show up with rifles slung around their shoulders and heavily armed wearing full body armor. You may remember them from the Bundy Ranch armed protest aiming firearms at the FBI.
And Trump-ally Roger Stone is setting up exit polling stations at voting precincts across the country to monitor whether the final tally is rigged. Stone is less concerned about voter fraud and more concerned with election rigging by officials and says anything more than a 2 percent deviation will be considered suspicious.
Voter intimidation and poll watching are illegal
Poll watching and voter intimidation are essentially illegal (some states have relaxed laws that allow poll watchers to challenge a voter’s eligibility). In 1981, there was a contentious gubernatorial race in New Jersey, and much like this election, the Republican National Committee was eager to win. And similar to what we’re seeing today the RNC launched a “Ballot Security Task Force” to monitor polls and intimidate voters. Almost identical to today, the task force was made up of Republicans and former or off-duty law enforcement officials, who went to minority-heavy areas and set up signs saying the election was being monitored, had official-looking armbands, and lingered at dozens of polling precincts.
That year, the Republican won the gubernatorial race, but at a heavy price — the RNC was taken to court over their obviously racist voter intimidation tactics and lost the case. The RNC accepted a 35-year “consent decree” that they would no longer monitor elections. The decree was set to expire next year, but thanks to Donald Trump urging voter intimidation and poll watching in areas with a high minority population like Philadelphia, Republicans can probably kiss that expiration date goodbye.
Here’s where you come in:
If you see a suspicious looking person at the polls on election day, or anyone being harassing, or preventing or deterring voters from voting, take a video or picture of that person, inquire into the nature of their being at the polls, and take the following actions:
- Call the FBI’s Public Integrity Section at your local field office, which you can find by clicking here, in cases of voter fraud, intimidation or harassment.
- If you feel your civil rights were violated or you witness civil rights abuses, call the Department of Justice at (202) 514-2007. The FBI also investigates instances of civil rights abuse, but they send their findings to the DOJ.
- Call Election Protection at 866-OUR-VOTE. This is a team of lawyers that offers guidance on how to handle situations of intimidation or other elections abuses.
The ray of sunshine here is that the Southern Poverty Law Center believes Neo-Nazis like Anglin to be “serial exaggerators” but there is still a very real possibility that Trump’s hardcore supporters have taken Trump’s instructions to heart and will be out in force on Election Day. Don’t put up with it, try not to engage them, but use the resources above to have them removed. Everyone deserves the chance to vote, and Trump and his merry band of degenerates are not going to take that right away from anyone if we all stay vigilant.