Armed Colorado Trumpists Going Door-To-Door Intimidating Voters
What's worse than opening your door to a couple of Jehovah's Witnesses askingif you have heard the good news about their lord and savior Jesus Christ? Mormons? Sure, yeah, probably (unless it's these guys). But way worse than either of those options would have to be a bunch of armed Trump supporters checking to see if you are a dead person who voted for Joe Biden in the last presidential election.
As unpleasant as that sounds, that is pretty much exactly what a group calling themselves the U.S. Election Integrity Plan has been doing in Colorado. The group, inspired by MyPillow guy Mike Lindell and led by election denialist Shawn Smith, who stars in a video outside the Capitol on January 6, is currently the subject of a lawsuit filed by several civil rights organizations alleging that this kind of voter intimidation is a violation of the Voting Rights Act and the Ku Klux Klan Act.
The lawsuit, filed by the NAACP, the League of Women Voters and Mi Familia Vota, claims:
1. United States Election Integrity Plan (“USEIP”) is deploying its agents, who are sometimes armed, to go door-to-door around Colorado to intimidate voters.
2. USEIP agents, wearing badges that identify themselves as official-sounding groups such as the “Voter Integrity Committee,” and sometimes introducing themselves in ways that make voters believe that they are associated with government agencies, are using public voter lists to target and intimidate voters. USEIP agents ask residents to confirm their address, question residents about their participation in the 2020 election and their method for voting, and either ask them about allegedly fraudulent ballots or accuse them of casting allegedly fraudulent ballots.
3. During their door-to-door campaigns, USEIP agents take photos of voters’ residences, and the organization maintains a database of photos of voters’ residences.
These "agents" show up to people's doors, with guns, insinuating they work for a government agency, demand to know their voting history or accuse them of doing voter fraud.
The group claims it's looking at areas where it believes the vote must have been tampered with, because Trump could not possibly have done so poorly in them, in order to collect affidavits from those who say they have an inside track on voter fraud.
However, they are specifically targeting communities with large populations of people of color, who are statistically less likely to have voted Republican. The lawsuit alleges that the goal here is to make people too scared to vote, for fear these people are going to come back to their homes with guns and kill them, thereby making it easier for Republicans to win elections in the state.
"Sadly, efforts to intimidate voters are nothing new," NAACP general counsel Janette McCarthy Wallace said in a statement. "The NAACP has a long and proud history of opposing those who would seek to thwart democracy. We could not sit idly by and allow voters to potentially be bullied out of exercising their rights." [...]
"No voter should ever feel threatened in the safety of their own homes," Celina Stewart, League of Women Voters chief counsel, said in a statement. "The nefarious actions of the USEIP are a blatant form of voter intimidation used to target and with the intent to silence Colorado voters of color, which is in clear violation of the Voting Rights Act."
As a rule, it's always good to remember pretty much no one you want to see is showing up at your door these days without prior notice, but people in Colorado may want to be especially careful. Better to let them think that whoever is living there is a dead person who voted illegally than to open the door to a crazed Trump supporter. Or a Mormon.
Either way it's not good.
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse