As Donald Trump is making unfounded claims that the Presidential election is “rigged” — Politifact called that one “pants on fire” — he is also encouraging his supporters to harass voters. In particular, voters of color.
“Go to your place and vote,” he has said. “And then go pick some other place and go sit there with your friends and make sure it’s on the up and up.”
Earlier this month, the Boston Globe interviewed a Trump supporter who said he planned on going out to polling locations to look for “Mexicans…people who can’t speak American” so that he can “go right up behind them” and “make them a little bit nervous.”
Not only is this completely wrong, it’s illegal.
Univision has published an important voter guide for Latinos and other minorities on how to deal with voter intimidation. It is also available in Spanish here.
Click here to access the entire English-language guide. A short excerpt from Univision is below.
What is voter intimidation?
- Displaying posters outside polling stations with threatening messages such as: “Only English Spoken Here,” “Electoral Fraud is a Crime” or “Only Citizens Can Vote.”
- Harassing people as they try to cast their ballot or interfering in any way with their ability to exercise their vote.
- Using violence or force.
- Contesting a vote on grounds of discrimination such as race, ethnicity, language or gender.
- Threatening or bribing voters.
- Mailing or distributing leaflets containing false information about the voting process.
What should you do in the face of intimidation?
- Alert the municipal secretary or designated officials at the polling station.
- Contact the election protection line at 1-866-OUR-VOTE or 1-888-VE-Y-VOTA (in Spanish).
- Contact the state or local elections office for information on filing complaints.
- File a complaint with the Department of Justice by calling 800-253-3931 or emailing email@example.com.