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US Midterms: Two In Five Voters Worry About Intimidation At Polls

    US Midterms: Two In Five Voters Worry About Intimidation At Polls
    Last updated: 1 month ago
    Image credit: The Republic

    Facts

    • A new Reuters/Ipsos poll has found that two in five US voters are worried about threats of violence or voter intimidation at polling stations during the Nov. 8 midterm elections, with 51% of Democrat voters and 38% of Republicans sharing these concerns. [1]
    • The poll also indicates that around two-thirds of voters fear extremists will carry out acts of violence after the election and that 17% believe that their ballot won't be counted accurately, including roughly one-in-ten Democrats and one-in-four Republicans. [2]
    • On Monday, Attorney General Merrick Garland stated that the Dept. of Justice is committed to ensuring a "free and fair vote," vowing not to allow voter intimidation ahead of Election Day in a reportedly "heightened threat environment." [3]
    • This comes as Arizona's Secretary of State Katie Hobbs has referred six potential voter intimidation incidents near ballot drop boxes to law enforcement, dubbing drop box vigilantism "voter harassment." [4]
    • Voter intimidation is highly situational and can constitute a variety of activities, including displaying weapons aggressively and insulting, questioning, or taking photos of voters. [5]
    • Despite alleged voter intimidation incidents in Arizona, early voting — underway in 34 states and the District of Columbia — has broken some records set in the 2020 presidential election as more than 7.5M people have already voted. [6]
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    Spin

    Democratic narrative

    Though poll watchers have long been part of American elections and civic engagement is usually something positive, this isn't the case this year as far-right groups have recruited conspiracy-minded individuals to monitor ballot drop boxes and polls. Acting as election-fraud crusaders, they've been deepening distrust in US democratic institutions by harassing and intimidating voters and staff. This must be addressed.

    Republican narrative

    While Democrats have been claiming to feel intimidated and harassed by individuals watching drop boxes in Arizona, it's Republicans who are facing real political violence, including physical attacks, doxing, and defamation campaigns. Restoring confidence in US democratic institutions requires more transparency and civic engagement, not curtailing the rights of the public.

    Nerd narrative

    There's a 50% chance that the 2024 US presidential election will be considered fraudulent by the losing party, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

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