Monday, October 17, 2016

Voter Intimidation and Poll Watchers



In the wake of allegations that there will be widespread voter fraud in November, I want to give everyone a primer on what is and is not permitted.

Voter intimidation and discriminatory conduct   - is illegal under federal and Pennsylvania law. Any activity that threatens, harasses or intimidates voters, including any activity that is intended to, or has the effect of, interfering with any voter’s right to vote, whether it occurs outside or inside the polling place is illegal.  Those who discriminate can be fined $5,000 and jailed up to five years. Intimidation has a maximum ten year sentence.

Examples of voter intimidation and discriminatory conduct include:
• Aggressive behavior inside or outside the polling place.
• Blocking the entrance to the polling place.
• Challenges to voters based on the voter’s lack of eligibility to register to vote.
• Direct confrontation or questioning of voters, or asking voters for documentation when none is required.
• Disrupting voting lines inside or outside of the polling place.
• Disseminating false or misleading election information.
• Election workers treating voters differently in any way based on race or other protected characteristics.
• Ostentatious showing of weapons.
• Photographing or videotaping voters to intimidate them.
• Poll watchers confronting, hovering or directly speaking to voters.
• Posting signs inside the polling place of penalties for “voter fraud” voting or support for a candidate.
• Routine and frivolous challenges to voters by election workers and private citizens that are made without a stated good faith basis.
• Using raised voices, insulting offensive or threatening language, or making taunting chants inside the polling place.
• Vandalism of polling places.
• Verbal or physical confrontation of voters by persons dressed in official-looking uniforms.
• Violence or using the threat of violence to interfere with a person’s right to vote.

Police Officers and the polling place - Unless they are voting or serving a warrant, police officers must keep their distance - at least 100' - even if they are in plain clothes. They are permitted inside the polling place only if their assistance is sought by elections officials.

Poll Watchers. - Each party can designate up to three watchers at each precinct. In addition, each candidate my name two watchers per precinct, but only one watcher per party and one watcher per candidate is allowed inside the room at any one time. The watchers are entitled to be present from the moment election workers arrive to set up until they leave. They act as watchdogs to ensure the process is fair, and also often help get voters to the polls.
* Poll watchers must keep their distance from the voting booth, and election tables. but must be able to hear the names of voters as they are called.
* A poll watcher may compare his list of voters against the "Numbered List of Voters," but only under the supervision of an election worker, and only when it can be done without slowing down those who are there to vote.
* A poll watcher, election worker or, for that matter, any other voter may only challenge a voter on only two grounds: that the voter does not live in the precinct; or the voter is not the person the voter says he or she is.
* A poll watcher must refrain from any interaction with the voter and instead lodge his challenge with the elections judge. If that voter fills out an affidavit and produces a witness vouching for him, he must be allowed to vote. If unable, he still must be allowed to cast a provisional ballot.

58 comments:

Anonymous said...

Mr. Trump has already made it clear this election is rigged. He is preparing people for the worst. His belief is that the election of Clinton if it happens will be illegitimate. He stated so and has said it is rigged at the polls.
He has been spot on, on many issues so far. How can you doubt that the fix is in? Can we ever trust our electoral system again if he loses?

Bernie O'Hare said...

I made clear on Saturday that I've had enough from both the Trmpions and Clintonistas. This post is for voters and is about poll watchers and voter intimidation. There is no political spin. Comments advocating Trump or Clinton will be deleted. Most of us are sick of it. That race is over, anyway.

Anonymous said...

Like the Black Panthers outside the Philly voting place in '08

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting. I intend to remind my FB friends of some of these points on election eve.

Not an endorsement for either candidate, but did everyone see SNL's cold open this week? �������� I can't.

Anonymous said...

Direct confrontation or questioning of voters, or asking voters for documentation when none is required.

During the past 5 elections in Bethlehem Township in the 3 ward precinct 2, the same poll worker requests identification and when challenged acknowledges that it is not necessary.

Is this voter intimidation or lack of supervision or both?

Anonymous said...

This race has been decided for a long time.

Anonymous said...

Just because juliani says "it is rigged and they leave dead people on the rolls and pay people to vote for them"

This nonsense has not been proven and even if you found 10 dead people and voted it would make no statistical difference in an election of this magnitude.

And Bernie saying it's already done, just means the obvious, people can see through the constant lies and fabrication that is being spewed daily on the tv. People are not stupid, when we hear someone speak on film about what they do, we can figure out that truth to blatant made up lies funded by rich guys

Anonymous said...

You better tell the people in Philadelphia about this. For years and years they continuously operate under a different set of rules than the rest of the state. There, wide-spread election fraud is the norm! And everybody knows who this benefits.

Anonymous said...

Any fraud will be vigorously investigated by the Comey FBI and prosecuted by the Lynch Justice Department. Bawhawhawhawhaha

Anonymous said...

7:07. Blatant lie.

Anonymous said...

My Dad passed away in 1996. He was a member of the Republican Party all of his life. About a year before he passed away, he moved to my brother's house near Hellertown in Saucon Valley, as my sister-in-law is a nurse and could help him with his medical needs.

Funny, ever since he passed away, he's been a staunch Democrat.

Anonymous said...

If Bernie says the race is over, then he must know. Democrats are legendary for knowing the outcome of an election before it's held

Anonymous said...

Are they going th have spanish-language ballots this year?

Tenemos unos amigos que vinieron a través de la frontera de manera ilegal. Ellos no entienden Inglés y quieren votar en la elección

Anonymous said...

We have learned from past elections that Democrats know that there will be no negative consequences to any and all law breaking that they undertake to steal the election. Voter intimidation will be given the response that the situation will be “investigated.” In modern day Government usage “investigation” is simply a euphemism for “we intend to do nothing.”

Anonymous said...

You just watch on election day. Democratic hooligans will be promoting confrontation with Law Enforcement in such a way as to milk the most propaganda from these events. Be assured that the Mainstream Media will put the most negative spin on efforts to control the intimidation.

Also, be prepared for an onslaught of charges of voter dis-enfranchisement leveled by the Democrats against Republicans. This is a no-holds barred election. Just look at the geyser of garbage being pushed into the media by the Clintons over the past week or so. Even Gloria Allred has insured she has her 15 minutes of fame with a bimbo she found to parade in front of the willing media cameras.

Bernie O'Hare said...

5:04, That is voter intimidation, and the fact that it is from a poll worker is outrageous. Contact the elections office and report this.

Bernie O'Hare said...

9:07, Have you bothered contacting voter registration so they can remove his name? Or do you just make anonymous claims on blogs that no one can verify.

Anonymous said...

According to all you cuckoo birds there was no possible way Republicans could ever win control of the Senate & House. How do you explain that?

Bernie O'Hare said...

Gerrymandering. It is the biggest threat to our democracy.

Bernie O'Hare said...

" For years and years they continuously operate under a different set of rules than the rest of the state. There, wide-spread election fraud is the norm! And everybody knows who this benefits. "

For as long as i can remember, racists have made concerted efforts to intimidate minority voters in Philly with pamphlets containing misleading information, or the posting of fake cops near a polling place. The Black Panther idiots were reacting to years of that kind of intimidation. They were charged, but I believe those charges were dropped.

Anonymous said...

Gerrymandering: Bernie I understand that. I'm not addressing this issue rather all the cuckoos who've claimed the systems rigged against republicans from being able to win office.

Anonymous said...

@11:49. He remains on the voter rolls. He voted in the 2000 election for Gore. My brother had recieved Gore election material in the mail sent by the Gore campaign to all registered voters. He thought it was just electionineering material. Then he recieved material again in 2002 addressed to our dad Again. I went over to the elections office in Easton and they said he was on the roll and that's when I found out he voted in 2000. I showed them his death notice and they said they would remove it. When my brother received Kerry material in 2004, he was still on the roll.

That was at least 2 elections he voted in after he was cremated Bernie. So don't say there isn't voter fraud because there damn sure is. And given that all the election material he recieved was from the Democrats, it stands to reason that it was the demorats that kept him on the roll and was how he voted.

Also, this just doen't happen to ONE person. Stuff like this is symptomatic or orgqaniatonal fraud concerning MANY voters, not just one.

Anonymous said...

As long as we have electronic voting the Democrats will continue to rig machines to vote for their candidates. Voters have no assurance what is being recorded is the vote they csst. The machine can print out a reciept and tell you this is what is being recorded, but there is no positive control that is what is written to disk storage as the actual vote cast.

The only way to insure that your ballot is correct are PAPER BALLOTS that the voter puts into the collection box.

This is why the Democrats pushed electronic voting so hard after the 2000 election. Gore got caught trying to steal Florida, because he wanted the votes recounted in selected precincts he knew were highly democratic, trying to mine votes that weren't there. So he would want to recount as often as necessary until he got the count he wanted.

When the Supreme Court ordered the recounts stopped, W won and ever since, the Democrats still do not recognize him as a legitimate President. This is why this election, with everything so close, expect massive amounts of election fraud to insure that their attempts to steal the election are successful this time around.

VOTRR FRAUD and RIGGED ELECTIONS are how the Democrats operate.

Anonymous said...

What are you people in the Lehigh Valley smoking? Whatever it is I want some because it sure as hell gives you some unique perspectives on reality.

Anonymous said...

anon 2:25 where did you cut and paste that from. The exact same post was on one of Bernie's other topics a few weeks ago.

Anonymous said...

Are people studying to be dumb or just born that way? If all these elections were rigged by the Democrats how is it that the country has a Republican Senate and a very Republican House? Also if the Democrats ruled with such power in Pa., there is no way ion Hell that Pat Toomey would be our senator.

Come on people stop drinking the tea and get some sunshine.

Bernie O'Hare said...

2:15, I am sure there are anecdotal instances of voter fraud, but there is absolutely no evidence to establish it occurs as a matter of strategy. I have no idea if you are being honest, but if you give me the name of the dead person who voted, I promise you I will find out what happened. My email is bohare5948@aol.com

Anonymous said...

Both sides wail when their candidate seems to be losing, or, in the case of Al Gore, lost. Our public officials have done a great deal to lower confidence in the electoral process. Kennedy and cook county Illinois come to mind but there were issues long before that. The reputation of the FBI has taken a hit recently. Most of our elected officials at the federal level exit their positions having amassed fortunes while in office Public trust must be earned. Our government class has done it's best to not earn it.

Bernie O'Hare said...

2:25, you need to read a little more before you make such incredibly ignorant statements. A return to the paper ballot and ballot box would guarantee voter fraud, not prevent it.

Peter J.Cochran said...

During OBAMA election I was at one one of three poles as State Contactable and some character says I/VE got a phone call -it was none other than the lawyer JOHN KAROLY who proceeded to instruct me to depart my voting pole and tells me he doesn't want to bring suit agants me. Well I go to the court house and the PJ is there he tell's me to disregard that statement . This was Dem intimidating. -----Poor John he is old now and can't run anybody into the ground.

Peter J.Cochran said...

FYI-- Me and Peg were at FLEET WEEK in Inner Harbor Baltimore and we did not see a single Hillery sign anywhere.

Anonymous said...

Why are Democrats nearly all against Photo-Id of voters at the polls ?

Anonymous said...

Just because someone is a constable does not mean they can harass people at polls. If you push your right wing politics on people you should not be at the poll.

Anonymous said...

@5:48 Was there voter fraud before electronic voting ?

Bernie O'Hare said...

Absolutely. It was much more prevalent until we went to machines. Read about Tammany Hall

Bernie O'Hare said...

6:51, Peter is a man of honor and would not harass people at the polls.

Anonymous said...

@7:00 Tammany Hall was in the 19th Century. I'm referring to the 1990s in the modern era since we had electricity, automobiles, and telephones

Anonymous said...

I wish they would change the rule about how close a candidate's campaigners can get to the door of the polling place. I think the rule is 10 feet. I'd like to see them forbidden from being on the property unless they are there to actually cast a vote and they don't loiter. Last year I had one of these people approach me as soon as I got out of my car trying to stuff a brochure in my face. Annoying. Who the heck changes who they plan on voting for in the parking lot of the polling location on election day?

Anonymous said...

I'd prefer a block away. No desire to run the gauntlet of partisans On Election Day, the campaign is over, its time to decide.

Bernie O'Hare said...

The rule is 10' from the polling place. I construe that as the table and booths. Last minute campaigners may not block entrance to the polls, either. I know it can be annoying, but that is core political speech and is constitutionally protected. Most of those people are volunteers and are very nice.

Bernie O'Hare said...

7:24, The abuses at Tammany Hall and in the South are what led to voting machines.In the 1990s, you don't have that problem bc paper ballots and ballot boxes are rare. It is patently absurd to want to return to a system in which voter fraud can be guaranteed, although most people are honest.

Anonymous said...

http://www.star-telegram.com/news/politics-government/election/article108539187.html

Anonymous said...

With respect, the manual voting machines, paper ballots and punch cards before the current electronic ones I trust a lot more than an electronic one that can be hacked and manipulated without the knowledge of the voter.

Ever had a virus on your computer Bernie that you were unaware of ? Do you have one now that is sending every keystroke you make out your network connection? Such as your user-ids and passwords that you type in the keyboard?

Welcome to a hacked voting machine. What manipulations go on in the software and disk drives you have no idea what is going on.

I would rather have slower vote counts than manipulated electronic ones. Wouldn't you?

Bernie O'Hare said...

So you do not oppose manual voting machines, which incidentally have no paper trail? If that is so, you should be completely on board with the machines used in NC bc that is essentially what they are. As I explained once before,it is impossible to hack these machines bc every thing is internal. You cannot hack a computer that is not connected to the 'net and that has no bluetooth. It is impossible. The only way you can alter results would require complicity by election judges, and even there, most would be caught during the canvass.

Anonymous said...

We had excellent mechanical voting machines in PA. Anytime new software is loaded onto a system, which is done before each election due to the ballot changes, that software is developed on networked computers. How that software is developed can be manipulated by persons unknown with agendas.

A piece of paper with an "X" on it, or a punch chard with a hole in it has a permanence that bits on a disk drive does not, or never will have. Also you can't recount database totals, but you can recount physical ballots.

Bernie O'Hare said...

There are different voting systems in Pa, depending on what county you vote in. Software is not replaced before every election, as you claim, but is updated frequently. It must be tested and certified by the DOS.

I am most familiar with the system used in NC. As I explained, it is hack-proof. This was not so with the AVM machines, which the county scrapped.

All of the systems used are linked below.

http://www.dos.pa.gov/VotingElections/OtherServicesEvents/Pages/Voting-Systems.aspx#.VIhhuclRqPI

Anonymous said...

There is no computer made that his hack-proof. I've been in IT since 1975. If it's a standalone system, software must be loaded onto it. If it can be hacked, it will be hacked. It's just a matter by who and how.

Unless the DOS picks apart the un-compiled code, they don't have a clue what routines are in it. Benign code can and are manipulative routines that unless you know what to look for, you don't see it. Especially in C and C++ programming languages, which look like so much jibberish to non-developers who know and write code in the language.

As I said, a piece of paper or a punch card does not have these vulnerabilities as electronic systems have. The disadvantage, of course, it takes a lot more time to count the votes. But then, they can also be re-counted. You can't recount votes stored in a database on a voting machine that the totals are read, again by software that can be manipulated "Hacked" to alter vote totals.

Bernie O'Hare said...

As someone who has been in IT since 1975, you'd agree that it is impossible to hack remotely a system that is not connected to the 'net and has no mechanism from which external command scan be accepted. It is possible to hack the system internally, but that possibility borders on the ridiculous. The NC system is completely internal. When the election is over, make an appointment with John Brown, tell him you are an ethical hacker, and tell him you'd like his permission to try to hack NC's system. You'd first have to break into the warehouse. My guess is you get caught before you get too far, but I'd really like to see if you can do it. Oh, and there are 120 polling places, each with two or three machines. You'll have to break into every one of them, and replace the seal. I won't say it is impossible and have no doubt you're good. But not that good. It will take too long and you'll be caught.

Anonymous said...

Some of these constables may have nice reputations but are very vocal about their political beliefs. If that is somehow communicated to voters it has a stifling effect on democracy. Someone with a badge and possibly a gun who is known to hate one of the political parties has a chilling effect on voters. Somewhat of a voter suppression move.

These constables should be vetted by their political actions and speech. Some may not be suitable for being in a polling place.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I looked at the rules governing their conduct. Constables have a right to engage in political activity except when performing their judicial duties. I believe a constable who engaged in political activity at a polling place would be guilty of voter intimidation.

Anonymous said...

http://www.moneylife.in/article/how-a-usd15-device-can-hack-us-presidential-election/48527.html

Bernie O'Hare said...

Have you read a damn word? It is impossible to hack into a system that is completely internal. Also, there is no chip card. You would have to break into hundreds od independent sealed machines and then re-seal them. That is impossible unless it is an inside job.

moderate Republican said...

Bernie, the same Pa. law that (wisely) keeps municipal police away from the polling places, also provides that "keeping the peace" at your local polling place is done by your local Constable (who is NOT part of the local council-mayor-supervisors establishment).

Bernie O'Hare said...

That is correct. In reality, if things get out of hand, police are called.

Anonymous said...

http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2016/08/2016-elections-russia-hack-how-to-hack-an-election-in-seven-minutes-214144

Anonymous said...

My concern is with constables that really have no training in anything. Some are very coarse and political.

Anonymous said...

The constable at my voting site is a nice guy. He dresses normally in a sport coat. Bernie, since many constables buy old cop cars and wear Army surplus uniforms with all kinds of stuff hanging from their belts, are they allowed to be in a polling place in ant type of uniform? Just wondering as I would think anything but civilian type clothing could be off putting.

Bernie O'Hare said...

They are allowed there in all their regalia. Most constables name deputies, and they perform this task.