Elections Integrity Fellow David Levine coauthored an article with Tammy Patrick of the Democracy Fund on how U.S. election infrastructure protects voters from intimidation in The Fulcrum.
There’s been growing concern about voter intimidation in the presidential election. Last month, Philadelphia officials turned away a group of Trump campaign poll watchers who were breaking Pennsylvania law. In Virginia, supporters of the president temporarily blocked an early voting site, forcing officials to escort voters to cast ballots. And in Minnesota, a private security company recruited former soldiers to guard polling sites, alarming election officials.
Voters often speak of “running the gauntlet” of partisan supporters to get to the polls. No one knows for sure how the rest of the election will play out, or how this “enthusiasm” will be interpreted by voters. But voters should know that officials are aware of these threats and have been planning for them.
We are both former local election officials who have observed voter intimidation in previous cycles. We now study elections, both within and outside of the U.S., and regularly interact with current election officials. We want to share what we know officials are doing to make voting secure.