In all fairness, Larssen, we've (USA) been to pretty dark places before. Slavery, civil war, genocide, global pandemics (with anti-maskers), world wars, and the threat of global thermonuclear war, protests, riots, violence, and political corruption. I don't think the American government suddenly became a #*&-show out of nowhere. Doesn't mean I like or am excusing where we're at now.
Again (and probably a different article this time),In 1981 a ‘task force’ intimidated voters at the polls. Will Republicans revert to their old tactics?https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/202 … ld-tactics
long snippet wrote:Donald Trump has threatened to send in poll watchers to monitor voting on 3 November, but is the party capable of such a threat?
Mon 24 Aug 2020 08.00 EDT
“Warning” the posters stated in big red letters. “This area is being patrolled by the National Ballot Security Task Force. It is a crime to falsify a ballot.”
There was no such task force in existence – it was the fictionalised creation of the Republican National Committee (RNC). Top conservative strategists built it from scratch, inventing a private vigilante squad of 200 off-duty police officers and private security guards. They carried visible firearms, wore armbands bearing the name of the “Task Force”, and were equipped with official-looking walkie-talkies.
The year was 1981, and a bitter race for the New Jersey governor’s seat was approaching. Republican organizers publicly claimed their plan would combat widespread Democratic cheating at the polls. In fact, they had a more sinister intention: suppress the vote in Democratic strongholds where African American and Latino voters were in the majority and the election might be tilted in favor of Republican Tom Kean.
So up went the posters in New Jersey’s majority-Black inner city precincts. As Rutgers University historian Mark Krasovic recorded, Black voters waiting in line were asked for their registration cards by the “officers”, then turned away. Some Latino voters were chased from the polling stations by the daunting patrolmen. Kean won the election by all of 1,800 votes.
How Republicans gutted the biggest voting rights victory in recent history
The 1981 “Task Force” amounted to one of the most egregious examples of election intimidation in America’s long history of voter suppression, but had a positive outcome. In the wake of those chilling events, the RNC was sued by the national and state Democratic parties. The case was settled out of court in 1982 at which point the RNC agreed to what was known as a consent decree.
Under its terms, the national Republican party pledged to abstain from poll watching unless it had obtained prior court approval. Party officials who broke that stipulation could be hauled before a federal judge and held in contempt.
For decades, the RNC was careful to avoid association with any measures that could be construed as intimidatory and to eschew coordination over poll watching with presidential campaigns, including Trump’s in 2016. But in 2018, the legal restrictions were lifted after the RNC persuaded a federal judge that it could be trusted not to return to the dark days of New Jersey in 1981.
Read, why would the party be so desperate to lift those constraints if it was determined to not fall back into old ways. Rest of the article carries on at some length.