A temporary restraining order has been sought against a group in Arizona over allegations of voter intimidation

A temporary restraining order has been sought against a group in Arizona over allegations of voter intimidation

A temporary restraining order has been sought against a group in Arizona over allegations of voter intimidation



CNN:

A retiree association and an organization of Latino voters are seeking a temporary restraining order against a group they say is coordinating a voter intimidation campaign. Arizona.

The request for an injunction was filed Monday night in a federal lawsuit alleging that the group Clean Elections USA and its founder, Melody Jennings, violated federal law over incidents at the ballot box in Arizona.

The lawsuit accuses the defendants of engaging in a “coordinated campaign of vigilante voter intimidation” in violation of the Voting Rights Act and federal civil rights law.

Clean Elections USA did not respond to CNN’s request for comment.

A status conference is scheduled for 10 a.m. Tuesday in federal court in Phoenix.

The lawsuit points to three complaints voters filed with state election officials. Complaints said people were taking pictures of voters’ license plates as they tried to drop their ballots through the boxes, with one complaint saying people called voters “mules” in reference to a voter fraud conspiracy theory.

The Arizona Secretary of State’s office addressed these and more bullying complaints to the US Department of Justice.

The new lawsuit also cited Jennings’ social media posts and other public comments he has made, which the lawsuit says show his group engaged in the alleged conduct.

“The organized vigilante groups of the defendants have already turned away from the voters. In any case, the behavior of the defendants will be objectively intimidating,” the lawsuit states. “However, in the current tense political climate, the actions of the defendants carry with them heightened threats. There is no guarantee that the crowds that the defendants have mobilized and continue to vibrate will remain peaceful.”

A retired association, the Arizona Alliance for Retired Americans, said its members’ preference for using drop boxes made them particularly vulnerable to the alleged intimidation. Voto Latino, an organization of Latino voters, says it is being forced to divert resources to educating its voters in what the lawsuit calls a new “hostile” voting environment.

The organizations are seeking a temporary restraining order and a preliminary injunction against the defendants “in sight of the muster boxes; following, photographing or otherwise recording voters or prospective voters, voters or prospective voter assistants or their vehicles in or around the polling station; from teaching, organizing or directing others to perform these activities”.



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