I’ve got a lot of stories I’m following at the moment. But I want to make sure you’re paying attention to the voter harassment situation in Arizona. I’m sure this is playing out in other states too. It simply may be more aggressive in Arizona or just as likely there’s better local press coverage. The reporting I’m following is from Nicole Grigg and Garrett Archer of ABC15 in Phoenix. Here’s Grigg’s report from Friday.
The gist of what’s happening is this.
Groups like “Clean Elections USA” are posting people to watch ballot drop off boxes. Apparently this is legal if they are 75 feet or more from the drop off box. Having peopple with cameras and telephoto lens watching people drop off their ballots and writing down things like license plates and such strikes me as an obvious form of voter intimidation. But apparently that’s the law as it stands in Arizona. But others are driving up to people as they put their ballots in the box and “questioning” them. Some people have been accused of being “mules” by feral Trumpers hovering around the boxes.
A couple nights ago there were a group of these armed “observers” suited up in tactical gear. I believe there have now been multiple cases of armed observers at these drop boxes. But I’m still trying to pull together the different accounts and reports.
It’s worth stepping back to get the big picture. You have a whole program of voting harassment in which feral Trumper weirdos — ginned up on the conspiracy theories of the last two years — are monitoring these dropboxes day and night and frequently voters are being questioned or harassed or threatened in various ways. The observers are pretty open about taking down identifying information of people they see dropping off ballots. But a lot of it is legal under Arizona law. Then on top of this a lot of these observers are just breaking the law.
The country simply cannot let this become the new normal. But it seems to be the new normal in many parts of the country. Kaila Philo has more here.