Democrats Take Voter Intimidation Claims to Court

Case goes before federal court in New Jersey, other arguments being made in Ohio and Pennsylvania

Democrats say there is a coordinated effort between the Donald Trump campaign and the Republican National Committee to intimidate voters. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Democrats say there is a coordinated effort between the Donald Trump campaign and the Republican National Committee to intimidate voters. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Posted November 4, 2016 at 9:21am

Democrats will argue in front of a federal judge in New Jersey on Friday that Republicans are coordinating with presidential nominee Donald Trump to intimidate voters.

The Democratic National Committee is arguing that the Republican National Committee is supporting efforts to “intimidate and discourage” minorities from voting, The Associated Press reported. Trump has contended on the campaign trail that the election is rigged and encouraged supporters to act as “election observers” to weed out voter fraud.

Democrats also cite statements made by Trump’s running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, about collaborating with the Republican National Committee, and sworn statements from five Democratic election employees in Las Vegas who said GOP operatives were working on the behalf of the RNC when they gave voters bad information.

The RNC denied the claims, saying that neither Trump nor his campaign speaks on behalf of the committee. 

Democrats argue the tactics would violate a 1982 consent decree stemming from Republicans hiring off-duty law enforcement officers, some with guns visible, to stand at polling places in urban areas wearing armbands that said “National Ballot Security Task Force.”

A federal judge in Las Vegas already said he had not seen attempts of voter intimidation and Republicans in Arizona have fought back against charges.

Similar arguments will be heard in Ohio and Pennsylvania. Much of Democrats’ argument points to Trump ally Roger Stone, who has led an effort to sign up supporters to volunteer to fight “voter fraud.”