SALEM, Ore. (AP) — A coalition of rights groups told Oregon officials in a letter that they had received complaints on a hotline about people trying to use a ballot drop box being intimidated by supporters of President Trump who attended a nearby rally.
It proved troubling for some voters and underscored the tensions ahead of Tuesday’s election.
Organizers of the Patriotic Trump/Make Oregon Red Rally had obtained permits for the gathering at the park in Springfield and planned a vehicle parade.
Lane County elections officials say they have received no complaints about voter intimidation at the rally.
On Monday, the Election Protection Coalition (EPC) held a forum to address concerns over voter safety for Tuesday. The group–which is made up of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law; the Rural Organizing Project; ACLU of Oregon; Oregon Food Bank; Western States Center and Oregon Justice Resource Center–said multiple voters reported intimidation by armed individuals at a ballot drop box in rural Lane County. The group has asked the state to protect ballot drop-off sites.
Under Oregon and U.S. law, voter intimidation includes a variety of activities, and it does not have to occur within a certain distance of a polling place to be illegal, the group said. According to the EPC examples of conduct that could be illegal voter intimidation:
- Following voters or standing behind voters, taking notes
- Loudly discussing voter fraud laws in a voter’s presence
- Suggesting possible future violence, prosecution, or legal action based on a voter’s presence
- Loitering watchfully near voters while visibly carrying a firearm
- Violent behavior inside or outside a ballot dropoff location
- Blocking a ballot dropoff location
- Confronting voters while wearing military-style or official-looking uniforms
- Law enforcement officers, even off duty, loitering by voters
- Aggressively approaching a voter’s vehicle or writing down the voter’s license plate number
- Harassing voters, or aggressively questioning them about their qualifications to vote
Read both letters below:
ICAP Lane County Letter
Oregon voter intimidation letter to AG
KOIN 6 News contributed to this report.