Recent reports of voter intimidation

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Reports of voter intimidation at Maricopa County ballot drop boxes are making national headlines with accounts of people wearing masks and dressed in tactical gear photographing voters dropping off their ballots.

County officials are condemning the so-called “Drop Box Watchers,” and groups representing retirees and Latino voters have filed a lawsuit asking for a temporary restraining order to stop what they claim are actions that threaten voters. Jeremy Duda of Axios Phoenix explains more about the voter intimidation.

The self-appointed drop box watchers are on the look out for ballot harvesting, which is a term used for the illegal action of third party ballot collection, according to Duda.

Is this Action Legal?

“I guess we will probably find that out very soon. There have been a number of complaints, not just the lawsuit, but five voter intimidation complaints that Secretary of State Katie Hobbs has forwarded to the Attorney General’s office and to the Department of Justice. Secretary Hobbs alleges that this is illegal. She feels like this is a violation of a state statute against voter intimidation. And there is of course the law suits on the federal laws,” Duda said.

Intimidation might look different to a lot of people, Duda said.

“If they’re taking pictures of you at all, and then confronting you and accusing you of committing crimes, if they’re dressed in military gear, especially if they’re carrying weapons, I mean obviously it’s going to be very unsettling. It’s easy to see a scenario where someone’s going to drive up and see that and turn right back around and go somewhere else,” Duda said.

There was at least one report of these ballot watchers following a voter back to their car while accusing them of being a mule. What these people don’t know, according to Duda, is if the people they are accusing are actually breaking the law or not.

Jeremy Duda, Axios Phoenix

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