RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring is recapping protections at the polls in an effort to prevent voter intimidation.
Herring said these incidents are rare but, since tensions are high this election season, he said it’s important for voters to know their rights.
Many Democrats, including Herring, have accused President Donald Trump of encouraging harassment and even violence at the polls, citing comments he made during the first debate.
“I’m encouraging my supporters to go into the polls and watch very carefully because that’s what has to happen. I’m urging them to do it,” President Trump said.
Herring said there are legitimate poll watchers in Virginia but they have to be authorized and follow specific rules. The White House didn’t respond on Thursday when asked to clarify President Trump’s comments.
Before the debate, supporters of the President chanting “four more years” at an early voting location in Fairfax, Virginia were accused of voter intimidation. Herring said this is the only report in the state he has been made aware of so far this election season. It prompted him to issue an advisory opinion outlining legal
“Voter intimidation and voter harassment will not be tolerated,” Herring said in an interview on Thursday. “There are criminal penalties in both state and federal law for engaging in that kind of conduct and I’m hopeful that we won’t see it but it’s important to make sure local officials know the tools they have just in case an incident does arise.”
On Thursday, Herring shared an 11-minute video — which can be found here — with the Virginia Sheriffs’ Association, the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police, the Virginia Association of Commonwealth’s Attorneys, the Voter Registrars Association of Virginia and the Virginia Electoral Board Association to make sure they’re prepared to respond.
If people feel harassed or intimidated at the polls, Virginia Department of Elections Commissioner Chris Piper said the first thing they should do is tell an election officer.
“Let the election officers handle it because they’re equipped to do so and can de-escalate the situation,” Piper said. “The worst thing you can do is try to handle it yourself.”
2020 ELECTION COVERAGE
- President Donald Trump’s legal team suffered yet another defeat in court Friday as a federal appeals court in Philadelphia roundly rejected the campaign's latest effort to challenge the state’s election results.
- The Biden-Harris ticket has 80,033,996 votes with as many more still to tally, according to a running count by the non-partisan Cook Report. Each additional vote adds to the highest general election total in history.
- Trump ally, former NJ governor Chris Christie: president's election fraud claims are a 'national embarrassment'In an interview on Sunday, former New Jersey Governor and frequent Trump aide Christie condemned the Trump team's challenges against the victory of president-elect Joe Biden as "a national embarrassment."
- President Donald Trump’s campaign has requested a recount of votes in the Georgia presidential race, a day after state officials certified results showing Democrat Joe Biden won the state.
- Georgia’s top elections official on Friday certified results showing Democrat Joe Biden won the presidential race in the state after a hand tally stemming from a mandatory audit affirmed the Democrat’s lead over Republican President Donald Trump.
- Fighting to challenge an election he lost to President-elect Joe Biden, Trump has launched a barrage of lawsuits across the country. Top Republicans have stood behind him and said they will wait for those cases to be resolved before officially recognizing the winner, a standard that has no modern precedent.
- WILMINGTON, Del. (NEXSTAR/AP)- President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris held a news conference Thursday afternoon after meeting with the National Governor Association's leadership team. The National Governor Association's leadership team is comprised of five Republicans and four Democrats. According to the Associated Press, all of the Democrats and a majority of the Republicans […]
- Democratic Party officials in Virginia sent a letter Thursday to Richmond's Electoral Board calling for the resignation of the city's general registrar, J. Kirk Showalter, or for the board to dismiss Showalter over her handling of the 2020 election.
- A divide has begun to emerge among Democrats between the progressive and moderate wings of the party, stemming from a disappointing election performance.
- SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — When Gov. Brian Kemp won election two years ago, he pushed back forcefully against an outcry from Democrats who accused him of suppressing voter turnout to improve his odds of winning. “Look, we have laws on the books that prevent elections from being stolen from anyone,” Kemp, who oversaw that election […]