Conservative ‘Election Observers’ May Be For Intimidating Dem Voters In Cochran-McDaniel Race

The NY Times reports:

[Conservative] groups will deploy observers in areas where Mr. Cochran is recruiting Democrats, Mr. Cuccinelli said. J. Christian Adams, a former Justice Department official and conservative commentator who said he was advising the effort, described the watchers as “election observers,” mostly Mississippi residents, who will be trained to “observe whether the law is being followed.”

The idea here appears to be that because poll workers cannot discourage Democrats from voting in the election (based upon an unenforceable Mississippi law which says that only those who intend to support the nominee of the party in the primary can vote in the primary), these outside election observers led by Adams may make such encouragement. That is what Adams must mean about “the law” “being followed.” That’s very troubling and I hope DOJ has some observers now heading down there too.

Here’s the background: According to Breitbart, “Technically, according to former Department of Justice Civil Rights division attorney J. Christian Adams, it is illegal for Democrats to vote in the GOP primary in Mississippi unless they plan on supporting the Republican candidate in the general election.” In response to my post saying that Adams was suggesting that poll workers exclude Democratic voters from voting at the polls, despite the fact that the state attorney general has held the law basically unenforceable, Adams responded: “Hasen obviously ignores the significance of all that I have said about the law at issue. The Breitbart story notes ‘poll workers aren’t mindreaders.’ I’ve also tweeted that Carnac the Magnificent and the Amazing Kreskin might have to be recruited to work the runoff to enforce this law.”

I guess Adams now fancies himself as Carnac or Kreskin.

This post originally appeared on Election Law Blog.

Professor Richard L. Hasen is Chancellor’s Professor of Law and Political Science at the University of California, Irvine. Hasen is a nationally recognized expert in election law and campaign finance regulation, and is co-author of a leading casebook on election law.

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