20 October, 2020

Dirty tricks abound, what voter suppression looks like in 2020

icon 2020 election,Blocked Access to Polling Locations,Broken Voting Machines,Inaccessible Ballot Boxes,Interfering Poll Watchers,Long Lines,Missing Mail In Ballots,SeeSay2020,vote by mail,voter intimidation,voter suppression,Voter Turnout
Live map of voter suppression
See Something, Say Something converts citizen reports of voter suppression and election irregularities into real time maps and alerts.

This year, voter suppression is taking many forms, some conspicuous—from intimidation and long lines at polling places to strict ID requirements—and some hidden in the disaster that is the absentee/mail-in ballot scene. 

One thing is for sure, Donald Trump is succeeding in making voting as hard as possible for voters who don’t support him. This year, the amount of hoops that voters have to jump through to cast their votes are plentiful, making voting complicated, which reduces the amount of people who actually get to exercise their right to vote. 

The media is focusing on the historic voter turn out this year, but that shouldn't obscure the fact that there is extreme voter suppression this year, where voters have had to jump through more unnecessary hoops that ever.
President Obama speaks about voter suppression in his eulogy to John Lewis

Here are just some of the instances of voter suppression / intimidation reported through so far:

Candidates not appearing on ballot

  • A couple of people reported that Jaime Harrison did not appear on their ballot when they voted. Both reports were from people who voted at County Voter Registration and Elections Office, 219 Third Loop Road, Florence, South Carolina

Voter intimidation

  • "I was in line to vote outside the poll. A group got in line behind me and began to talk loudly about Democrats, that would cause the country to be communist, believed in killing babies and followed Satan. They began to ask me questions regarding if I was employed, religion,etc. I asked the family in front of me if I could move in front of them to avoid conflict. After I moved up in line, they became angrier and called me names as we waited in line."
  • A LARGE "24-7 Surveillance" vehicle was in front of the voting location. It had "video surveillance" slapped all over it, a Trump sticker on the back window, and decals of "" and "" It had 2 small Trump flags on either side, as if it were some sort of "official" vehicle. It made it seem like this vehicle was taking surveillance of those going to the polls. The Indiana license plate is: XOT105.
  • Candidate representative handing out flyers for their candidate - Troy Jones - at early voting locations, well within the hundred foot marker.NOTE: this happened in Knoxville, Tennessee.
  • At the Rea Farm Elementary school, There was a man wearing all MAGA hat/shirt standing in front of the main entrance of the early voting location less than 5-10ft away from the door. He said he was with the Republican Party and asked to talk. I said “no thanks” and he mumbled something. Then asked if he can give me a flyer. I said no and he threw his hands up. There was another group of teachers there with the school board that witnessed. I did not get a picture as I was scared of this man.
  • This woman was walking the line, handing out flyers on why we should vote yes on gerrymandering, she kept voicing her view even when we refused her flyers. She put a chair next to the democratic table and was rudely talking over the democratic woman every time she tried to speak. She refused to leave when asked. The man in the red started shouting his support for her, it all seemed very rehearsed, and was obviously making people feel uncomfortable. The woman left when she saw me take her picture.
  • East Montgomery county, TX. Individual wearing united airlines uniform and badge was walking up and down the line of voters asking if they wanted a list of candidates. If people said yes he then gave them a professionally produced list of all of the Republican candidates.
  • Trump train car rally drove to Fairfax County Government Center During early voting in September 19. Parked and had a parking lot rally. Supporters went to front of building and lined up across the line that was there bisecting the voter line. People had to pass through their line of people to continue to stay in line. Election officers rerouted the voting line. Eventually police were called.
  • Women harassing voters entering polls, and verbally abuse to Biden supporters
  • There is a large truck parked outside of City Hall voting location that says “Defend the Police” over the word “”Defund.” Lots if writing on the truck. My community is largely Latino and this is very threatening.
  • Angry man yelled at me and two others (both over 65) in line to vote after one of the 65 year olds expressed displeasure with candidate Trump.

Voter suppression photos & videos map

SeeSay 2020 map of voter suppression instances
Map credit: Bill Cohen, University of Pennsylvania

Bribing Poll Workers

  • Voters without masks and prominent Trump paraphernalia bullying poll workers to allow them into line.

Voting Misinformation

  • An ad in local newspaper with instructions to sign your ballots rather than signing the envelope. Full page ad with correct info about registration and other correct info but outright wrong about what to sign.
  • Tried voting in Fort Bend County at the Sienna Annex and all machines down. Polling place lied and told us machines were operating because they didn’t want to upset people. Line wrapped around building. People lined up and down hallways (not socially distancing safely). Many voters left. People were getting angry, calling county judge and news outlets.
  • The Republican booth was discouraging voters from dropping off their absentee ballots at the box inside the government building, providing confusing information and suggesting the box wasn’t safe.
  • Randolph County (and probably ALL counties), North Carolina is listing incorrect addresses for early polling stations on their websites and these addresses are being disseminated throughout the state by news channels on their websites.
  • Voter reports a parking attendant is "warning" voters that their ballots will not be counted unless their signatures have been witnessed by a third party. This is not a requirement in Broward County. Several voters have been turned away by the man's misinformation. The SOE was informed, yet attendant still there, still passing misinformation.

Broken Voting Machines

  • In Fort Bend County, Texas, there have been problems with the voting machines this morning, first day of early voting. They were programmed for next week. Because the dates were wrong, people couldn't vote. The machines had been working for a while since corrections, but are down again.
  • All polling locations in Galveston County, TX are down due to a computer issue. Failed to download voter address database changes overnight. 80 minutes after polls scheduled to open, no votes cast. Paper or provisional ballots not offered.

Long Lines

  • Waited upwards of 8 hours to vote. Not enough parking also, and people’s cars were being towed.
  • I am a registered voter in Fort Bend County, TX. I waited almost 7 hours to vote (specifically 6 hours, 25 min, and 30 seconds). When I arrived at the polling location, I was told that all voting machines in Ft. Bend county were down (unknown reasons) and that they would be up and running shortly. Four six hours later, I was still waiting, and by this point more than 300 people had left the polling station. There were no bathrooms, shade, or sitting area. `

Interfering Poll Watchers

  • I went to vote at the Grauwyler Park Rec Center in Dallas yesterday. I lost my ID so I needed to fill out a reasonable impediment declaration and had two forms of ID that fit (voter reg card and expired ID). There was a poll watcher (white blonde woman in her 50s) who was aggressively leaning over the workers and writing down my info, then tried to give the workers bad info saying I couldn't vote. She wouldn't tell me who she was with. The whole thing felt disconcerting and unAmerican.
  • Although dozens of people were in line, this Republican poll observer stood across from the only Latinos, pointedly taking notes.The poll monitor approached the group only after they began audibly talking and laughing in Spanish, walking out of the UNCG precinct in order to hover over them

Blocked Access to Polling Locations

  • Richard K. Jones' Sheriff cars and traffic cones are blocking easy access from the main highway to the early voting center. The only route in is from a deeply conservative part of town, a 5 mile detour from the parked Sheriff car and cones most Butler county citizens must use for access. The polling center is located directly next to the Sheriff's office so this tactic is cheap and easy. I apologize but I cannot provide my number, the sheriff is known to be vindictive and spiteful.

Inaccessible Ballot Boxes

  • Franklin County, Pennsylvania has their one ballot box inside the courthouse. To get to it, you have to go through an airport like scan, a wand scan, and the people manning the scanner have holstered weapons..... totally unnecessary! The box could have been placed in the lobby where you did not have to be scanned to drop it into the box.
  • After hours return box at the Lexington County voter registration office is sealed up with tape, so people can't return their absentee ballot after hours.

Missing Mail In Ballots

  • My mail in ballot was mailed on 10/2. It is 10/14 and I never received it. I have decided to do early in person voting instead. My neighbor across the street sees that his was mailed 10/7 and he hasn't received his either. My next door neighbors never received theirs and called SEO for replacements which they did receive. I have two friends in the immediate area who didn't register for VBM but never received sample ballots. Two other acquaintances in the area who didn't receive their VBM.
  • I requested my Bartow County Georgia ballot in July and I verified online. I did not get my ballot and was told we mailed it. Now I have to take a day off work and run a risk of the virus to vote be Suze my stated is a Trump supporter and I am not.
  • I ordered my absentee ballot months ago. Because I can track my ballot, I've been checking the website daily. The website says my ballot was mailed on 10/6/2020, but now it is 10/16/2020 and I still haven't received it. It was supposedly mailed from 10 minutes away.
  • Ballots were removed from our mailbox, taken about a half mile from our house and thrown out on the side of the road

Take away: Combat voter suppression as it happens by reporting it through


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