A group of Trump supporters waving campaign flags disrupted the second day of early voting in Fairfax, Va., on Saturday, chanting “four more years” as voters entered a polling location and, at one point, forming a line that voters had to walk around outside the site.
County election officials eventually were forced to open up a larger portion of the Fairfax County Government Center to allow voters to wait inside away from the Trump enthusiasts.
Election officials said that the group stayed about 100 feet from the entrance to the building and, contrary to posts on social media, were not directly blocking access to the building. But they acknowledged that some voters and polling staff members felt intimidated by what some saw as protesters.
“Citizens coming into and leaving the building did have to go by them,” Gary Scott, the general registrar of Fairfax County, said in a statement. “Those voters who were in line outside of the building were moved inside and we continued operations. Some voters, and elections staff, did feel intimidated by the crowd and we did provide escorts past the group. One of the escorts was the county executive.”
Bryan Graham, the chairman of the Fairfax County Democrats who was also at the polling center, saw it differently, writing on Twitter that “the Republicans are straight-up attempting to intimidate voters at the government center.”
In an interview, Mr. Graham said he’d “never seen or heard of anything like this happening before.”
“I was there when the county executive was there and I saw him walk multiple people through the crowd because they didn’t feel safe,” Mr. Graham said. “I don’t think it’s appropriate. We shouldn’t be doing things to make people feel unsafe.”
Steve Descano, the county attorney, did not directly address the demonstration in a statement posted to Facebook on Saturday, but said that he was “instructing my office to pursue cases of voter intimidation that may occur.”
Virginia election law states that it is illegal to “hinder or delay a qualified voter in entering or leaving a polling place,” and that it is also prohibited to perform any kind of political advocacy within 40 feet of any entrance to a polling place.
Videos of the demonstrators quickly went viral on social media, and show them gathering outside the entrance, holding up Trump campaign signs and chanting as voters walked past them.
Thugs and gangs, this is what the tRump cult is now. Laws do not matter nor does fair play. Only their power and right to power. They are a rude minority acting as if they were the only ones that matter in the country. Hugs