Pro-Trump group plans to patrol polling places on Election Day for nonexistent fraud
On some level, the only logical conclusion to this ridiculous election cycle would be a meteor striking the planet and just taking us all out of our misery (and forgiving our student loan debt). However, just straight up violence is more likely since the Oath Keepers, a militant group, is planning on patrolling the polls on Election Day. Republican nominee Donald Trump has officially given up on trying to pull policies out of his ass and is instead spreading the idea of a “rigged election.” Sadly, it appears to be working when it comes to riling his supporters up (FYI, there is no proof of widespread voter of fraud in the past few decades).
The Oath Keepers is technically a non-partisan group, and its leader, Stewart Rhodes, issued a “call to action” to “help stop voter fraud” on its website, in a YouTube video, and in an email chain to members, and the language is clearly an echo of the failed hotelier’s fears of losing the election to a woman.
Rhodes said in his message, “In particular, we are calling on our retired police officers, our military intelligence veterans, and our Special Warfare veterans (who are well trained in covert observation and intelligence gathering) to take the lead.” He urged members to “blend in” and “hunt” fraud. The group’s advisors suggest wearing a Che Guevara T-shirt or something with a “pot leaf” on it in a video.
The group claims it won’t be intimidating voters, since no one will know they’re part of the group. The bulk of Rhodes’ message was that members go out “incognito” and to try to blend in with voters and poll workers. “You won’t even know they’re there,” Rhodes told The Huffington Post. “If someone is just going about their business, have a nice day. But if it looks like they’re doing something illegal, we’re going to record it.” They’re specifically looking for “busloads” of people being brought to polls and any voter intimidation. A retired cop who thinks he alone is defending the Constitution with a HAM radio is fucking intimidating as hell in my book, but maybe you’re braver than I am.
“If you wear Oath Keepers gear, you can expect to be accused by partisan Democrat activists and the media (essentially the same thing) of attempted voter intimidation,” Rhodes suggests in the call to action. “Do not make it easy for leftist partisans to attempt to twist this around on you and on this org.” Pretty smart.
The group noted on its website that in 2008, there were members of the New Black Panther Party for Self-Defense at a polling place in Philadelphia, though whether they were really intimidating voters is up for debate.
There are ten states that straight up prohibit guns in polling places, but it can get murky when you dig into each state’s open carry laws. Most states have no regulations about guns being allowed in polling places.
The energy surrounding this election is creepy AF. Trump has not only insinuated that the entire electoral system is rigged against him, but he’s also been inciting violence ever since he put on a red tie and started getting behind podiums. He’s hinted that someone should take a shot at Hillary Clinton. Former congressman Joe Walsh tweeted that he’s going to get his “musket” if Clinton wins. Mike Pence had to silence a woman at a rally the other day who wanted a “revolution.”
It might just be a small group of crazies talking about defending our country from the wrath of Crooked Hillary, but the group exists nonetheless. People thought there would be violence at the Republican National Convention, and there wasn’t, but that doesn’t mean it couldn’t happen Nov. 8. And it only takes one crazy to cause damage (as Trump continues to demonstrate).
People are heated about this election and not acting very rationally. Let’s just get this thing over with — peacefully.