To make sure that no voter is subjected to intimidation when they hit the polls next month, one organization is dispensing military veterans to booths across the country.
Back in 2008, voters in Philadelphia claimed to have been accosted by members of the Black Panthers wearing military gear, who were trying to discourage them from exercising their right to choose their president. Four years later, Get Out the Vet -- an organization made up of military veterans who register vets and help military members overseas send out their ballots –- will be patrolling the polls to ensure that no voters are made uncomfortable as they cast their ballots, Fox news reports.
“Every veteran at one point in their life has taken an oath to preserve, protect and defend the constitution,” Ben Brink, founder of Get Out the Vet, told Fox News. “So, who better than veterans to watch the polls and be a fair observer of elections?”
But members of the Black Panthers, a black nationalist fringe group, aren’t going to be the veteran volunteers’ only concern.
"Bullies at the Ballot Box," a new report from Common Cause and Demos, concluded that right-wing groups, including a Tea Party spin-off group called True the Vote, are training "poll watchers" to target minorities on Election Day.
They're aiming to train as many as 1 million volunteers to limit participation of traditionally Democratic voters with a number of intimidation tactics, including making them feel like they're “driving and seeing the police following you.”
"There is a real danger that voters will face overzealous volunteers who take the law into their own hands to target voters they deem suspect," the report concluded.
But Brink, a retired Navy captain, is confident that his volunteers will be able to counter the efforts of those trying to stand in the way of voters.
“If it’s known [the veterans] are going to be there,” he told Fox News, “it’s likely to reduce probability of intimidation.”
Click through the slideshow below to learn about the voter ID laws that put you at risk for being disenfranchised.
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