Republican plans to use political operatives as poll workers alarm suffrage activists


William Brangham:

He was also backed by former President Trump, who continues to lie about the results of the last election.

In February, he urged his supporters to become members of the constituency committee to – and I quote – “take back our great country from the ground up”.

So to help us understand this strategy and what it means for elections and for our democracy, I’m joined again by Rick Hasen. He is a professor of law at the University of California at Irvine and author of the new book “Cheap Talk: How Misinformation Poisons Our Politics and How to Fix It.”

Rick Hasen, always good to see you.

Can you help us understand what this constituency strategy is all about?

Rick Hasen, University of California, Irvine: Well, the first thing to remember is that while we hold national elections every four years for president, we don’t hold a single election. We organize about 10,000 different elections.

Everything is hyper-localized, right? So even though there’s been a lot of focus on the races of the secretaries of state and the governors, it’s really the line workers, the people who register you at the polls, take your ballot, can -be scan your ballot into a machine.

It’s at this level that we see people who have embraced the big lie being recruited by one of the political parties to come and not serve as poll watchers, which we’ve seen a lot in the past you know , someone to observe what’s going on in the polling station and maybe report back to their party, but a poll worker, someone who should pledge allegiance to the electoral body that actually runs the election, but who is now being told he should report what he sees via an app to a political party.


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