Voter Intimidation and the Tea Party
(This particular story seems to have slipped under the media spotlight—so I’d love a signal boost on it.)
The Tea Party has resorted to voter intimidation in Worcester, Massachusetts. This happened at a Democratic Primary a week ago—though speculation is that it was a warm up for the November election. Voter intimidation is a simple and nasty trick. You just need to find the people on the margins and do something to make voting a bit scarier.
Here’s how the Tea Party group did it in Worcester:
- They photographed or videotaped people in the polling stations.
- They raised fake challenges to people’s credentials.
- They chalked sidewalks outside housing complexes claiming, falsely, that people needed an ID to vote in the election.
- They slid fliers under residents’ doors making the same false claims about fliers.
- They asked voters to provide identification.
- “Chastising” voters and their helpers for speaking Spanish
This is all, of course, illegal.
There’s really no dispute about why the Tea Party spin-off Activate Worcester is doing this. As the organizer of this effort wrote, “Worcester has just registered at least 3,000 new voters thanks to the Voter Participation Center and the Secretary of State — these are welfare recipients and disenfranchised people.”