Law Newz blog reports that the Democratic Party has Sued Donald Trump, Roger Stone for Voter Intimidation in 4 States:
Leaders from state Democratic parties in four states have filed federal lawsuits against Donald Trump, Trump advisor [and GOP ratfucker] Roger Stone, and state Republican parties for “conspiring to threaten, intimidate, and thereby prevent minority voters in urban neighborhoods from voting in the 2016 election.” The legal effort is lead by Marc Elias, the general counsel for the Hillary Clinton campaign.
The lawsuits filed in Nevada, Arizona, Pennsylvania, and Ohio (h/t Election Law Blog) are asking a judge to stop the defendants from monitoring polls, verbally harassing voters, and following them around to take pictures.
In one of the lawsuits, filed by the Nevada Democratic Party, against Stone, Trump, and the Nevada Republican Party, the plaintiffs point to a statement given by an unnamed Trump official that “[w]e have three major voter suppression operations under way” (Bloomberg Business Week) as evidence. The complaint further alleges:
Trump’s supporters have responded with pledges to descend upon polling places in “certain areas” where many minority voters live in order to interfere with their efforts to exercise the franchise…
Immediate relief is necessary. There are only 8 days left until Election Day, and early in-person voting in Nevada is well underway. 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 complaint also names Stop the Steal, which is a super PAC formed by Trump advisor Roger Stone. In the lawsuits, the Democrats claim “Stone has a history of engaging in voter intimidation, racist and misogynist hate speech, and incitement to violence.”
The lawsuit then goes through several instances in which Trump allegedly spread “misinformation” about the election being rigged. For example, at an October 20 rally in Delaware, Ohio, Trump told the crowd that Clinton is “truly capable of anything, including voter fraud.” The lawsuit alleges that Trump, Stone, and the local Republican parties have violated the Voting Rights Act, and the Klu Klux Klan Act. We are reaching out to the defendants for comment, and will update accordingly.
Last Wednesday, the DNC filed a motion in federal court which claimed that the RNC, through Donald Trump’s own statements, violated a longstanding consent decree that prohibits Republicans from engaging in “ballot security” measures which could intimidate minorities.
Think Progress adds, Democrats sue Donald Trump’s campaign in four states for voter suppression:
The party filed lawsuits on Monday against Donald Trump’s campaign and the Republican Parties of Ohio, Arizona, Nevada, and Pennsylvania. The federal suits also name Trump ally Roger Stone, who through his “Stop the Steal” super PAC is recruiting volunteers to patrol hundreds of voting precincts in Democratic-leaning cities with large minority populations.
The lawsuits accuse Trump, Stone, and the GOP of violating both the Voting Rights Act and the 1871 Ku Klux Klan Act by “conspiring to threaten, intimidate, and thereby prevent minority voters in urban neighborhoods from voting in the 2016 election.”
“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…voters,” the lawsuit says. “Untold numbers of…voters will suffer irreparable harm if the right to vote is imperiled by the same forms of virulent harassment that federal law has prohibited since shortly after the Civil War.”
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In recent weeks, the lawsuit notes, Trump’s campaign has bragged to the press about its intent to convince some people not to vote at all, with one campaign official telling Bloomberg Business Week “We have three major voter suppression operations under way” aimed at white progressives, young women, and African Americans.
While that quote was referring to a strategy of posting discouraging messages on the radio and social media — a tactic that election law expert Rick Hasen called “odious, but…not illegal” — other actions listed in the lawsuits may indeed violate federal law.
Trump supporters have been quoted saying they plan to engage in “racially profiling” voters on Election Day, to “make them a little bit nervous.” Other Trump devotees have said they will be on alert for anyone who does not speak English. During early voting, there have been reports of vigilantes “photographing and videotaping cars coming and going” in an intimidating manner.
The Democratic Party’s lawsuits also cite instances of alleged intentional misinformation, including when Stone and local Republican officials have posted on social media encouraging Democrats to vote online or by text message — which is not possible.
Noting that Election Day is one week away, the lawsuits ask for immediate relief, including a ban on Stone’s poll monitoring operation and “any and all planned voter-intimidation activities.”
The new charges in these four hotly contested swing states come on top of another federal lawsuit accusing the Republican National Committee of violating a decades-old court order barring them from voter intimidation. A hearing in that case will be held in New Jersey this week.
If you have an early mail-in ballot, election officials are now recommending that you return mail it by TOMORROW, Tuesday, November 1.
The U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division staff is available by phone to receive complaints related to voting rights (1-800-253-3931 toll free or 202-307-2767) or by TTY (202-305-0082). In addition, individuals may also report complaints, problems or concerns related to voting by fax 202-307-3961, by email to firstname.lastname@example.org and by complaint forms that may be submitted through a link on the department’s website: https://www.justice.gov/crt/voting-section.
Complaints related to violence, threats of violence or intimidation at a polling place should always be reported immediately to local law enforcement authorities by calling 911. They should also be reported to the Department of Justice after local authorities are contacted.