If political activists collect at any of Colorado’s polling areas or poll drop packing containers and intimidate voters in the course of the upcoming election, Legal professional Normal Phil Weiser stated, his workplace will prosecute.
Colorado’s mail-in voting system sharply reduces the probabilities of mass voter intimidation schemes, Weiser stated. And to this point, there haven’t been any rumblings about organized efforts to take action.
However Weiser stated he’ll be watching.
“It’s a crime. It’s a criminal offense to take severely,” Weiser advised The Denver Submit.
White supremacy is a menace to the soul of America. We should work collectively to deal with the rising tide of hate. When hate turns to voter intimidation, it turns into a criminal offense. For that matter, any voter intimidation is a criminal offense and might be prosecuted. #democracy pic.twitter.com/wwQmEa2Puz
— Phil Weiser (@pweiser) September 30, 2020
Considerations have been mounting since President Donald Trump and others have referred to as the legitimacy of the nation’s election system into query and inspired poll-watching.
“I’m urging my supporters to enter the polls and watch very fastidiously,” Trump stated not too long ago.
Already Republicans are recruiting tens of 1000’s of volunteers to behave as “ballot watchers” in November.
Whereas there are authorized methods to behave as a ballot watcher, lawyer generals throughout the nation have additionally taken discover and warned that if the apply morphs into voter intimidation they’ll prosecute.
“I’m discouraged and dismayed that (Trump) has made statements that search to undermine the religion and confidence in our elections,” Weiser stated. His statements “might be interpreted as encouraging people to point out up and provides individuals a tough time. That’s not the best way we do issues right here in Colorado. There’s no function for residents to point out up at ballot websites and making it more durable to vote. Certainly, doing so may very well be a criminal offense.”
Voter intimidation is a misdemeanor, he stated, punishable by as much as a 12 months in jail and a $1,000 tremendous.
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The character of Colorado’s election system reduces the chance of widespread voter intimidation as a result of the overwhelming majority of voters return their ballots at 24-hour drop packing containers or by way of the mail over the course of weeks, slightly than voting on a single day.
However Colorado’s election takes place over weeks, not a single day, and the overwhelming majority of voters return their ballots by mail or by 24-hour drop packing containers which would scale back — if not eradicate — their potential to be intimidated.
Nonetheless, as much as 7% of voters within the state — tens of 1000’s of individuals — do vote in individual, Secretary of State Jena Griswold stated.
Griswold inspired voters of all political stripes, together with Trump’s supporters, to work as election judges and ballot watchers as permitted by regulation.