Democrats are accusing Republicans and Donald Trump’s presidential campaign of conspiring to intimidate voters in at least four states just days ahead of the election.
In each lawsuit, the state’s Democratic party is seeking court action to preemptively block potential voter harassment or intimidation from Republican poll watchers or other observers.
The lawsuits were filed beginning Sunday in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Nevada and Arizona against Trump’s campaign, each state’s Republican party and GOP operative Roger Stone, who runs the group “Stop the Steal.”
During many of Trump’s campaign rallies he has urged his supporters to “watch the polls in certain area,” and has fired up his base with allegations of election “rigging.”
On several occasions Trump has said,
“You’ve got to get everybody to go out and watch, and go out and vote,” Trump said at the rally. “And when I say ‘watch,’ you know what I’m talking about, right?”
Watch video of Trump’s statement below beginning at 44:28.
In a federal lawsuit filed in Cleveland, the Ohio Democratic Party alleges:
“In the months leading up to the 2016 election, Trump has made an escalating series of statements, often racially tinged, suggesting that his supporters should go to particular precincts on Election Day and intimidate voters.”
The state party said that absent court intervention, voters would be subjected to “intimidation, threats, and perhaps even force at the hands of vigilante ‘poll watchers’ and ‘ballot integrity’ volunteers on Election Day.”