In the lead up to to today’s historic election, there was ample concern that people’s voting rights would be infringed upon by vigilante supporters of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. Last month, he called on his base to monitor the polls. Using a clear dog whistle, Trump ticked off a number of cities with large black populations that he considered worthy of his followers un-solicited scrutiny:
Voter fraud is all too common, and then they criticize us for saying that. But take a look at Philadelphia, what’s been going on, take a look at Chicago, take a look at St. Louis. Take a look at some of these cities, where you see things happening that are horrendous.
Conservative claims of election fraud are largely erroneous. Indeed, the only credible cases of fraud this year appear to involve Trump supporters.
In 2008, Fox news famous overplayed fears of the New Black Panther Party at polling places intimidating voters in Philadelphia. However, outside of a single unsubstantiated one, there were no videos of Black Panthers to provide this, and no voter or official monitor reports to support the claims.
However, today, there have been signs of intimidation in Florida. Calls have poured in to a number of volunteer organizations to describe incidents in which people have been turned away by aggressive provocateurs. A group of individuals have apparently been harassing voters at the Hollywood Branch Library in Broward County, Florida. Additionally, trucks sporting confederate flags have circled polling places.
While these reports are unverified, there have been many of them. Impact Tap will bring you further updates on voter intimidation and suppression via our election day live blog.