Federal Lawsuit Filed to Prevent Ballot Drop Box Watchers
On Monday, a lawsuit filed by two organizations in federal court asked a judge to prevent members of Clean Elections USA from being “within sight” of ballot drop boxes in Arizona. Plaintiffs Voto Latino and Arizona Alliance for Retired Americans represented by Elias Law Group claim that Clean Elections USA’s founder and members are intimidating voters. Though, Attorney Daniel Arrellano has not alleged violence.
Arrellano implored U.S. District Court Judge John Tuchi to act immediately with just 15 days remaining in the election. The plaintiffs claim that some members of the group are known to openly carry firearms or wear tactical gear. The lawsuit comes after a string of reports last week of real or imagined intimidation, with three incident reports referred from the AZ Secretary of State to the AZ Attorney General and US Department of Justice.
The lawsuit seeks more than an order keeping group members away from drop boxes, it goes as far as aiming to bar them from following, taking videos and photos of voters, potential voters, and their vehicles around the drop boxes. The group operates in Maricopa County where volunteers said to be affiliates have claimed to have set up cameras outside the county election office and another ballot drop box location. Arellano also aims to prevent Clean Elections USA founder Melody Jennings and its members from “training, organizing, or directing others to do the same.”
Arellano says the Dinesh D’Souza film, 2000 Mules, is responsible for the motives of the group, which seek to deter “mules” from stuffing the ballot boxes with fraudulent votes.
The lawsuit comes after a litany of real political violence has been levied against conservatives. A Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) canvasser was hospitalized from an attack after being told, “Republicans aren’t allowed here.” In short order, the media doxxed the victim’s name and engaged in a smear campaign alleging links to a “white supremacist” group.
Last night one of our canvassers wearing my T-shirt and a Desantis hat was brutally attacked by 4 animals who told him Republicans weren’t allowed in their neighborhood in #Hialeah #Florida
He suffered internal bleeding, a broken jaw & will need facial reconstructive surgery pic.twitter.com/36QpbySg58
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) October 24, 2022
RedState author Jennifer Oliver O’Connell published an article calling out the Democrats’ hypocrisy on the voting-violence rhetoric, here: Democrat Hypocrisy Over Violence Against Republicans Is Part of the Reason Why They’ll Lose
Here is a small rundown of politically-fueled attacks over the past few months:
- Shannon Brandt was arrested for using his car to run over, and ultimately kill 18-year-old Cayler Ellingson because he believed Ellingson was a part of a “Republican extremist” group.
- A pro-life elderly woman was canvassing for the cause in Michigan when she was shot in the back.
- New York Governor candidate Lee Zeldin was attacked while speaking at a campaign event by a man wielding a bladed instrument.
Not only is the political violence from the left real, “call to arms” rhetoric was championed after the Dobbs decision. Then, Joe Biden gave a creepy speech about “threats to our democracy” turning the phrase “MAGA Extremists” which was regurgitated on command by the White House Press Secretary. I wrote about it in a VIP piece, The Anatomy of Anti-MAGA, that revealed the phrase was inorganic; the product of research polling.
RollCall referenced the reports back in May writing,
…the Biden catchphrase was the product of six full months of research by the Center for American Progress Action Fund. Plus, of course, private polling by Hart Research and the Global Strategy Group.
Monday, election-denier Hillary Clinton released a fundraising video claiming, “Right-wing extremists already have a plan to literally steal the next presidential election.” Clinton says there is an effort to have state legislators given powers to overturn elections in front of the Supreme Court. She goes on to ask for donations for a group (or PAC?) called “Crush The Coup.” I imagine any Republican with a group name like that would find themselves de-platformed, including financial services, and likely would end up in the DC Jail, if I had to guess. The point being: We live in a two-tier society.
HILLARY CLINTON: “Right wing extremists already have a plan to literally steal the next presidential election.”
— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) October 25, 2022
Aside from the actual humans being hurt at the hands of those emboldened by prominent Democrats’ fire and brimstone mantras and perilous “battle for the soul” warnings, most of the loosely-defined doomsday stuff is intended to simply set the stage. Lights! Camera! Action!
Marc Elias, of Elias Law Group, went on MSNBC with Rachel Maddow. Not only did he go on a fully partisan rant blaming Republicans “from top to bottom” for “vigilantes”; he appears with “democracy defender” and related office knickknacks. It’s almost like they are the ones with a coordinated attack plan, huh?
Where is Mitch McConnell calling this out?
Where is Kevin McCarthy calling this out?
Where are the so-called responsible leaders of the GOP saying that having armed vigilantes at the polls preventing people from casting their ballots is wrong? pic.twitter.com/juGVWt9hGp
— Marc E. Elias (@marceelias) October 25, 2022
For peaceable Republicans who just want to be left alone, not be marginalized, attacked while canvassing, targeted by politically weaponized justice systems, or slandered by weird think-tank catchphrases fed to a feeble president: it is clear that conservatives are being set up. This is what being framed feels like. And, while some feel helpless to stop it, others put cameras up and gather to ensure their democracy is also… not attacked.
The lawsuit is dangerous, not because of the impact on the Clean Elections group but for the national implications of curtailed rights of the public. This is the public, in public, watching public things, that have a significant public interest to them. The idea that they can’t be anywhere “within sight” of a drop box, says they don’t want anyone to see what is going on at the drop box. That’s an enormous problem at a time when every polling center election department should be publicly broadcasting video feeds to improve confidence in elections.
Everyone is on edge and common sense solutions are drowned out by smear campaigns. Voting rights and First Amendment rights include the rights of the public to engage in civic activities, and depending on which partisan affiliation you are, those rights are in jeopardy today.