As the United States of America enters the final days of an important election period, there have been indications that there may be voter intimidation take place. This happens when people basically scare others at the polling places.
Donald Trump is running for reelection to a second term as President. Joe Biden, former Vice President under President Barack Obama, is Trump’s Democratic opponent. There has been so much hatred expressed from both campaigns that this election has been marked as being extremely important.
Trump has encouraged his people to watch the polling places. That can cause voter intimidation.
Voter intimidation is nothing new. It has happened in the past. There is danger of it happening this year because some people in power have said that the election will be unfair and unjust. Some people will take it upon themselves to try and ensure that the election is above board. In doing so, they may intimidate voters.
The people who have been targeted in the past with voter intimidation have been mainly Black people and others of color as well as immigrants. Their votes were seen by the opposition as meaningless.
This election year has been highly unusual. There have been more hate than ever expressed. The high levels of hateful rhetoric have caused tensions to be elevated. People are not afraid to show their hatred.
Far-right extremists and self-proclaimed vigilante groups have said they will be guarding polling places. Their very appearance will serve to intimidate people who are trying to vote. They will try to frighten voters away so they will not vote if they feel like they might vote for the wrong side.
Battleground states are especially expected to be hit by voter intimidation.
Many people in the United States will be voting by mail. It is unlikely that they would be the targets of voter intimidation. Their mail in ballots can be put in the mail box or can be put in special ballot collection boxes. People are not likely to use their intimidation tactics at those places.
Millions of people have already done early voting. There has not seemed to be a lot of voter intimidation at those polling places.
It may happen on the last day of the voting, which had been the normal way for people to vote until this year. Changes were made because of the coronavirus pandemic and problems which came with that issue.
Voters should know and realize that voter intimidation is against the law. There are federal and state laws. People can report such behavior to the authorities. It should not be tolerated.