Operatives reportedly paid by the Tea Party have swarmed minority early voting locations throughout Harris County, appointed as “poll watchers” by the local Republican Party and Republican candidates.
Once inside, they try any means necessary to disrupt voting and intimidate voters. They attempt to block access to polling places and hover over voters trying to vote, even positioning themselves to watch the minority voters while they are casting ballots. They try to talk to voters and election workers and are confrontational and hostile.
Their mission that they have freely accepted is to DISCOURAGE AND INTIMIDATE MINORITY VOTERS AND KEEP THEM FROM VOTING!
My question to the GOP-Tea Klux Klan is this. If you are so certain that your GOTea Klux Klan candidates are going to win, why try to suppress the minority vote?
You're doing it because you know that you not only AREN'T the majority of the American people, you are an Astroturfed corporate top-down movement that the people who aren't swayed by your Faux News propaganda arm reject.
Most of the conduct reported so far is clearly illegal. But that's par for the course for Republicans and why they are so hated by POC voters. These Tea Klux Klan poll watchers are not only enemies of democracy who don’t want people to vote, they are lawbreakers!
But don't just take Moni's word for it. Here’s what the Texas Election Code says:
“A watcher may not be present at the voting station when a voter is preparing the voter’s ballot or is being assisted by a person of the voter’s choice.” Texas Election Code section 33.057(b)
“While on duty, a watcher may not converse with a voter or communicate in any manner with a voter regarding the election.” Texas Election Code section 33.058(a)(2).
The only conversation which can occur between an election officer and a poll watcher is “to call attention to an irregularity or violation of law.” Texas Election Code section 33.058(a)(1).
They are breaking these laws for one reason only – to try to intimidate minority voters into not voting.
Harris County Democratic Party chair Gerry Birnberg stated in a letter released today:
'We cannot let them get away with this. We fought too hard for the right to vote to let a bunch of bigots and thugs take it away from us now. The best way to fight this effort to take away people’s voting is to VOTE! Show them it won’t work! Show them nobody is going to disrupt or intimidate or harass us into not voting!'
Chairman Birnberg's letter also gave tips on how to report the poll watchers and the shady electoral behavior.
If you witness any of this illegal activity at the polls, try to get the name of the “poll watcher” who engaged in it and if they’re too afraid to give it to you, record a physical description.
Then fill out an Election Incident Report Form or email headquarters (email@example.com) a complete description of what happened, and please include your name and telephone number so we can get in touch with you to ask more questions if we have to. If you don’t have access to email, call us at 713-802-0085, but our telephone lines are so busy right now, we’d really much prefer an email if you can do so.
It’s time to stand up to people who don’t want you to vote.
Damn right, Gerry.. Especially misguided low information thugs who want to take this country back to the 18th Century..