DNC sues RNC claiming Trump’s “ballot security” is voter intimidation.

DNC Sues RNC Claiming Trump’s “Ballot Security” Effort Is Illegal Voter Intimidation

DNC Sues RNC Claiming Trump’s “Ballot Security” Effort Is Illegal Voter Intimidation

The Slatest
Your News Companion
Oct. 26 2016 9:13 PM

DNC Sues RNC Claiming Trump’s “Ballot Security” Effort Is Illegal Voter Intimidation

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Donald Trump at a rally in Estero, Florida on September 19, 2016.

MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images

The Democratic National Committee sued the Republican National Committee in a New Jersey federal court Wednesday, claiming that the RNC has supported and enabled Donald Trump in his claims the election is “rigged,” which, the suit says, is designed to illegally “intimidate and discourage minority voters from voting in the 2016 Presidential Election.” Specifically, the DNC’s suit says that Trump’s efforts to enlist supporters to engage in voter intimidation or “ballot security,” particularly in “other communities”—read: minority communities—violates a decades-old court order designed to prohibit attempts at voter suppression.

Here’s an excerpt of the filing:

The RNC’s support of Trump’s efforts to recruit “watchers” who are intended to intimidate voters at their polling places violates this Court’s Consent Decree as modified in 2009, which explicitly forbid the RNC from engaging in so-called “ballot security” measures directly, indirectly, or through its agents or employees...
The Consent Decree arose from the RNC’s efforts in the early 1980s to interrogate and intimidate registered voters in predominantly African-American precincts in New Jersey… Specifically, the Decree prohibits the RNC from “undertaking any ballot security activities” where “a purpose or significant effect of such activities is to deter qualified voters from voting.” Id. “[T]he conduct of [ballot security] activities disproportionately in or directed toward districts that have a substantial proportion of racial or ethnic populations shall be considered relevant evidence of such a . . .  purpose...”
After this Court modified the Consent Decree in 2009, the RNC appealed, arguing that the Decree violated its First Amendment rights, and that this Court had abused its discretion in declining to vacate the decree. The Third Circuit affirmed, rejecting the RNC’s arguments...
... Yet the RNC has collaborated with the Trump campaign to organize and engage in prohibited poll monitoring activities, including, at a minimum, “the use of challengers to confront potential voters and verify their eligibility at the polls on either Election Day or a day on which they may take advantage of state early voting procedures.” The Court should therefore order the RNC to show cause why it should not be held in civil contempt for violating the Consent Decree, and issue sanctions to address the violations.