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How to protect yourself against voter intimidation

This Election Day, don’t let anything get in the way of making your vote count.

Election officials throughout the country are on high alert this year as some Republicans are coordinating widespread “poll watching” efforts – including right here in Pennsylvania. Make no mistake: this is a desperate attempt at voter suppression, and it has no place in our democracy.

Should you encounter voter intimidation at the polls on Tuesday, here are a few things you need to know:

No one has the right to intimidate voters to get them to vote (or not vote) for a particular candidate or issue. Any person using violence, threats, or fraud to interfere with your right to vote is in violation of the law and should be reported immediately. To report voter intimidation or other deceptive practices, call 866-OUR-VOTE (866-687-8683).

Before you vote, you may encounter misleading information meant to confuse you and prevent you from voting. This includes deceptive phone calls, mailers, and signs telling you that your voting location has changed, that you are no longer registered to vote, or that the election has been postponed. You can check your polling place using this tool on the Pennsylvania Department of State website.

There are reports of people using fake badges to illegally intimidate voters. Do not fall for this trick. In fact, in Pennsylvania, even actual police officers are not allowed to be within 100 feet of a polling place unless they are voting or preserving the peace. If you witness this tactic at your polling place, report it immediately to an election official.

Together, we can protect Pennsylvanians’ right to vote and ensure every voice is heard in this election. We can do this by knowing our rights, staying vigilant, and spreading the word to our neighbors, co-workers, friends, and family members as they prepare to vote. Thanks for being a part of the solution.

Posted on November 5, 2016.