Trump spokesperson says armed men outside St. Pete polling place were not hired by campaign

Trump spokesperson says armed men outside St. Pete polling place were not hired by campaign

A Trump campaign spokesperson says two men dressed as armed security guards who set up in a tent outside an early voting location in downtown St. Petersburg were not hired by the campaign.

Thea McDonald, Deputy National Press Secretary for the Trump campaign, told 8 On Your Side: “The Campaign did not hire these individuals nor did the Campaign direct them to go to the voting location.”

Julie Marcus, Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections, told 8 On Your Side the men set up a tent outside an early voting site on Wednesday and claimed to be with the Trump campaign.

“The Sheriff [Bob Gualtieri] told me the persons that were dressed in these security uniforms had indicated to sheriff’s deputies that they belonged to a licensed security company and they indicated—and this has not been confirmed yet—that they were hired by the Trump campaign,” said Marcus in a video interview with 8 On Your Side’s Chip Osowski Wednesday night.

Marcus, a Republican, is running to keep her seat as supervisor after being appointed in May of this year by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis. Gualtieri, also a Republican, is running for re-election as well.

“The sheriff and I take this very seriously,” Marcus said. “Voter intimidation, deterring voters from voting, impeding a voter’s ability to cast a ballot in this election is unacceptable and will not be tolerated in any way shape, or form. So we anticipated many things going into this election. Not only cybersecurity, but physical security and we had a plan in place and executed that plan.”

In the first presidential debate last month, President Trump encouraged his supporters to go to the polls to watch what happens there.

“I’m urging my supporters to go into the polls and watch very carefully,” Trump said. “Because that’s what has to happen. I am urging them to do it.”

Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri spoke with News Channel 8 on Tuesday about his plans to thwart any potential voter intimidation. He said he’s been working closely with Pinellas Supervisor of Elections Julie Marcus to make polling places safe.

“I just don’t want to get too deep into the specifics because we’re trying to balance it,” Gualtieri told 8 On Your Side political reporter Evan Donovan. “But I’ll say it’s a combination of uniformed personnel who will be in the area and also we’re gonna use some undercover personnel just to monitor the situation.”

Dustin Chase, deputy supervisor of elections in Pinellas County, told 8 On Your Side the men setup outside the Supervisor of Elections Office in the County Building, which is located at 501 First Ave. North.

Marcus told 8 On Your Side that Gualtieri plans to have a deputy presence specifically outside that polling place on Thursday.

Deputies with Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office came to the polling place on Wednesday and spoke to the guards, who said they were hired by the Trump campaign and said they would be out tomorrow at the early voting location.

It is illegal in the state of Florida to bring a gun to a polling place, and Gualtieri says intimidation won’t be allowed either.

The Joe Biden campaign issued a statement against voter intimidation tactics in Florida.

“In the United States of America, we cannot and will not stand for any behavior that could intimidate voters from participating in our democracy. Our country stands for freedom, liberty, and democracy, and these scare tactics have no place in our state. It’s clear that those running scared will try anything in the closing weeks of the election. There are no excuses for this behavior. We are committed to making sure every Floridian can vote and every vote is counted.”

Please note even when told by police it was illegal the guys said they would be back tomorrow.     What will the police do?   If they were black or media they would be beaten, maybe shot, and arrested.   White Republican armed thugs supporting tRump … complete pass.    Hugs

Right Wingers Put Out Fake Drop Boxes In California

Right Wingers Put Out Fake Drop Boxes In California

CBS Los Angeles reports:

Shannon Kaehny first spotted it on Facebook: a grey metal container with a taped sign that read “Official Ballot Drop Box” outside of Freedom’s Way Baptist Church. The pastor, Jerry Cook, had posted the photo with the caption “Our church has a voting drop box in front of our complex — if you are voting early, drop your ballot on by.”

The registrar’s office told KCAL9 they are trying to reach Pastor Cook and are working with counsel to issue a cease and desist letter. However, the drop box is already gone.

Posts on the church’s website show it hosting a forum for Republican local candidates and criticizing the Black Lives Matter movement. With that in mind, some locals said they are suspicious of what the church’s intentions were with the box.

There is more at the link above.    I already left my thoughts on this.   They are sure the only way for tRump to win is to stop people from voting.  When they claim fraud, they are the ones committing it.   Hugs

Unofficial ballot drop boxes popping up throughout the state worry elections officials

Unofficial ballot drop boxes popping up throughout the state worry elections officials

Promoting such boxes — which have been found in Los Angeles, Orange and Fresno counties — could be a felony.

In a photo posted to social media last week, a young man wearing a mask with Orange County congressional candidate Michelle Steel’s name on it is holding a mail ballot and giving a thumbs up next to a box about the size of a file cabinet labeled “Official ballot drop off box.”

The post, from Jordan Tygh, a regional field director for the California Republican Party, encouraged people to message him for “convenient locations” to drop their own ballots.

The problem is the drop box in the photo is not official – and it could be against the law.

The California Secretary of State has received reports in recent days about possible unauthorized ballot drop boxes in Fresno, Los Angeles and Orange counties, agency spokesman Sam Mahood said Sunday evening. Reports place such boxes at local political party offices, candidate headquarters and churches.

Only county elections officials can oversee ballot drop boxes, choosing the number, location, hours of operation and other details. County registrars are charged with making sure every box follows strict state guidelines for security, including making sure they can’t be tampered with and tracing the chain of custody of all ballots.

“Operating unofficial ballot drop boxes – especially those misrepresented as official drop boxes – is not just misleading to voters, it’s a violation of state law,” Padilla said, with a felony conviction carrying a prison sentence of two to four years.

Reports came out Saturday night about a metal box in front of Freedom’s Way Baptist Church in Castaic that had a sign matching the one on the Orange County box. The church posted on social media that the box was “approved and brought by the GOP.” The post said church officials don’t have a key to the box and that GOP officials picks up the ballots. A pastor for the church didn’t respond to a request for comment.

On its website, the Fresno County Republican Party also shared a list of “secure” ballot collection locations. None are official county drop box sites, with the local GOP instead listing its own headquarters, multiple gun shops and other local businesses.

The state is still looking into the source or sources of the boxes, Mahood said.

The California Republican Party did not respond to requests for comment about the boxes by deadline. But they’ve been defending the practice in replies on Twitter, alleging the process was made legal under a 2016 law that allows California voters to designate a person to return their ballot for them. The GOP calls the practice “ballot harvesting” and blames it for losses to the Democrats in OC and other places in 2018.

But state officials clarified that using an unauthorized vote-by-mail drop box would not meet the requirements of the 2016 law. No designated “person” would be signing for the ballots as required by state law.

Tygh, who tweeted the Orange County drop box photo on Thursday, didn’t respond to requests for comment. He is listed on Steel’s campaign website as part of “Veterans for Michelle Steel,” a group supporting her election bid. Steel, a Republican supervisor in Orange County, is challenging Rep. Harley Rouda, a Democrat, for the 48th District Congressional seat.

A Democratic party operative retweeted Tygh’s photo on Sunday, alleging the unofficial drop box was at Steel’s campaign headquarters. Reached Sunday evening, Steel said she was out campaigning and was unaware of whether there were drop boxes at her campaign office. She said she’d check into it and call back, but could not be reached later Sunday night.

Orange County Registrar of Voters Neal Kelley said Sunday that hundreds of people alerted him to the possible rogue drop box. Some had also sent the same message to the state Attorney General and FBI.

“What we did was started to look into it, notified the state, and the Secretary of State issued guidance this afternoon that it is illegal and you can’t do that,” Kelley said.

“It would be like me installing a mailbox out on the corner – the post office is the one that installs mailboxes.”

Kelley said he doesn’t have many details, such as where the box in the photo was located or who was responsible for it. He passed the information on to Padilla’s office and to Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer.

District Attorney’s spokeswoman Kimberly Edds said Spitzer’s office is investigating, but she declined to say where or how many there were or who had placed them.

To find official drop box locations near you, use tools on the Secretary of State or your local registrar’s websites. Orange County official drop box sites are at ocvote.com.

Yes there is cheating and fraud concerning mail in ballots this year.    It is being done by Republican cult of tRump supporters.   tRump and his supporters are all about projection, everything they accuse others of they are doing.  It really is sad.  The claim to be trying to save democracy by destroying it.  They claim to be the party of patriots, but they don’t even understand the word as they work to destroy the very fabric of our constitution.   These people now view lawlessness as a virtue in the quest to win at any cost, while their Dear leader shouts law and order at his rallies.   How sickening to see the US become Germany of the late 1930’s.    Hugs

Trump campaign ready to unleash thousands of poll watchers on Election Day

https://www.politico.com/news/2020/10/08/trump-election-poll-watching-427008

Poll watchers monitor everything from voting machines to the processing of ballots to checking voter identification. They are not permitted to interact directly with voters but, depending on local regulations, they can relay problems to local election officials or campaign higher-ups.

The Trump deployment is the culmination of months of detailed planning, aggressive volunteer recruitment, and reconnaissance trips to key states. President Donald Trump has been personally briefed on the program, which is overseen by nearly two dozen full time staffers.

It underscores how — to the alarm of voting rights advocates and Democrats — Trump and his reelection effort have turned the idea of voter fraud and irregularities into a centerpiece of the campaign. The prospect of a prolonged vote-counting fight that will extend far beyond Nov. 3 appears very real.

While poll watchers have long been used by both parties, the crush of monitors has led to concerns about endless challenges to voter eligibility that would inject further chaos into the contest — and potentially set off a counteroffensive by Democrats.

Veteran Republican election attorney Ben Ginsberg warned in a Washington Post op-ed Monday, “Should Trump seek to delegitimatize the presidential election … His most obvious tactic would be having the RNC instruct its poll watchers to abandon their traditional role and, instead, lodge mass challenges both as voters cast their ballots and then as mail ballots are tabulated.”

“Everybody’s so worried about Trump stealing this election, I can’t even tell you,” said Shanti Fry, a Massachusetts-based fundraiser who also has done voter protection work in previous presidential elections.

The Trump effort launched in late 2018, when Clark and Stepien created a budget and began designing a program. Campaign officials say they have spent in the mid-to-high seven figures on the project.

The Trump team received a boost earlier that year when a judge lifted a consent decree that had been imposed on the RNC in 1982 after it was accused of suppressing minority voters. The order had barred the committee from challenging voters’ eligibility at election sites, severely hampering its ability to engage in poll watching.

With the decree lifted, the Trump campaign has been working with the RNC to recruit a national network of volunteer observers. While the 2016 Trump campaign developed a ballot security hotline and war room toward the end of the race, the reelection effort was able to begin setting up its program nearly two years in advance.

Roman, a veteran of the Koch political network who has spent decades working on Election Day operations, is a central figure in the effort. Early this year he traveled to every major battleground state to scope out the terrain.

Roman, whose personal website is devoted to voter fraud, has also been working with local candidates and parties to recruit volunteers.

But the biggest recruitment tool has been the president and his Twitter account. At last week’s debate, he called on “my supporters to go into the polls and watch very carefully.”

“Every time he throws that out there, it’s a sure bet that thousands will sign up,” Roman said.

When North Carolina processed early ballots and absentee ballots last month, Trump volunteers were present in 92 of the state’s 100 counties. They watched as election officials opened ballot envelopes, checked the authenticity of voter signatures, and crossed off names in poll books.

The aggressive posture was also on display in Philadelphia last week, when Trump volunteers unsuccessfully tried to get access to a Board of Elections satellite office. City officials said observers are only allowed at polling sites and not at satellite offices, which provide services like registration but where voting doesn’t take place.

Still, Trump lashed out at the city for the decision, saying in the debate that volunteers “weren’t allowed to watch. … Because bad things happen in Philadelphia, bad things.”

Republicans have since sued the city to gain access to the locations.

Trump aides are slotting volunteers into tens of thousands of shifts at voting locations across the country. The deployment plans are tied to a ranking system for which areas they think are most susceptible to irregularities that could harm the president.

The campaign has been training volunteers on poll watching rules. While they are not allowed to interact with voters, poll watchers in some states are able to communicate directly with election officials.

There is more at the link above.   It is clear that the attempt is voter intimidation and tRump wants disruptions.  The areas they are sending people too are areas they do not want people to vote, so yet they will be obnoxious and unreasonable.   They wont follow the rules nor the law because they would rather break the law and win than follow the laws letting people vote and lose.  Hugs