Politics

Democrats Take Voter Intimidation Plea To Supreme Court

| by Ray Brown

The Democratic Party of Ohio filed a lawsuit against the Republican Party and the campaign for Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump to stop actions that some believe could intimidate voters at the polls.

The lawsuit had already been rejected after the 6th Circuit found it had “no basis in law,” reported Politico. But the party filed an emergency application with the U.S. Supreme Court to stop Trump supporters from conducting independent exit polls, which have been criticized as a form of voter intimidation.

Trump surrogate Roger Stone's group, Stop the Seal, seeks to recruit Trump supporters to go to polling locations and collect voter data.

Democratic parties in other states, including Arizona, Pennsylvania, and Nevada, have also taken legal action to stop the tactic.

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“Trump’s calls for unlawful intimidation have grown louder and louder, and the conspiracy to harass and threaten voters on Election Day has already resulted in numerous acts that threaten to interfere with the voting rights of registered Nevada voters," the Nevada Democrats' lawsuit said, according to Talking Points Memo.

But the Trump campaign has fought back, arguing that the Ohio Democratic Party's lawsuit, which has been emulated by the party in other states, is merely an attempt to limit their supporters' freedom of speech.

"The order tramples upon core First Amendment freedoms,” wrote Trump campaign attorney Chad Readler, according to Politico. “It imposes vague prohibitions against poorly defined categories of core political activity — talking to voters, giving information to voters, etc. — that guarantee hundreds (if not thousands) of Ohioans will be chilled from participating in our democratic process.”

Readler added: "The order prohibits anyone from having a truthful discussion about voting rules with another voter when the two are heading inside to vote. ... The untailored list of examples of such activity in the order offers more confusion than clarity." 

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Sources: Politico, Talking Points Memo / Photo credit: Marc Nozell/Flickr

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