Trump rally goers accused of intimidating Lane County voters

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Group aims to protect voters dropping off ballots

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.

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