What Is Voter Intimidation?

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What is voter intimidation and did you face it? How do you handle that?

Voter intimidation occurs when one person intimidates, threatens or coerces another person with the intent to interfere with that person's right to vote or how he or she votes. Voter intimidation is prohibited under Federal law.

While voter intimidation is uncommon, here are a few examples of the types of scenarios that occur from the ACLU

Hindering a person's right to vote by:

  • Questioning their voter qualifications
  • Harassing voters based on their race or other protected classes
  • Lying about voter requirements such as language requirements
  • Intimidating them by using misleading voter fraud signs with criminal penalties

How can you protect yourself? What if a poll worker asks if you're qualified to vote?

  • Know your rights!
  • Make a sworn statement that you meet the all the voter qualifications and then proceed to vote.
  • Learn about voters' state rights
  • Learn about poll workers' and poll monitors' state rights
  • Contact the Election Protection Hotline at 1-866-OUR-VOTE or 1-888-VE-Y-VOTA
  • Notify poll workers or local officials

What are poll monitors prohibited from doing?

According to the ACLU

  • They cannot stand in the immediate vicinity of the voting machine.
  • In most states, must stay within a reasonable distance of poll workers' tables.
  • In most states, they also can't inspect poll books if voters are present.
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