In case you missed it, early this week Pennsylvania’s Attorney Generalcame down hard against voter intimidation in Philadelphia:
Attorney General Josh Shapiro said the charges should “draw a very clear line ahead of next week’s election.”
One elderly couple, both Republicans, cast their ballots together, but only one of the votes was recorded, while the other appeared to have been replaced with a write-in vote for the Democrat in the race, Shapiro said.
A voter intending to cast a ballot for the Green Party candidate was told the ballot machine was broken and later was cursed at when he returned to try again, Shapiro said. Another voter supporting the Green Party candidate was aggressively questioned when he tried to bring someone into the polling booth to assist him, as allowed by law.
“One should not chalk these actions up to typical partisanship or typical electioneering,” Shapiro said
To anyone who has followed Philadelphia elections, none of this is a surprise. Dozens of Republican court appointed election inspectors and poll watchers were turned away in the 2016 election and since they are also voters in that precinct: "People are leaving and they’re scared to come back and vote."
What is pleasantly surprising is that the Pennsylvania Attorney General did the right thing and went after a few of the "intimidators." Kudos to him.
Why is this not fought more often? Well, take a look at the webpage of the nonpartisan “Election Protection” coalition. The coalition of over 100 groups allegedly fights against voter intimidation which it defines as“putting undue pressure on or trying to coerce a person or group to suppress votes or to vote a certain way.” This is obviously exactly what happened underlying the charges earlier this week in Philadelphia and has been happening since at least 2008. Yet, the coalition is silent on this.
The most recent story on their homepage is about Pennsylvania as well. Yet nothing on the recent charges in Philadelphia in front of a Mayoral election in just a few days. It seems like the entire “Election Protection” coalition looks the other way when voter intimidation happens to members of the Green or Republican Party. Or put another way, they are ignoring the voter intimidation done by Democrats. Shameful, and certainly not “nonpartisan.”