White supremacist groups, including KKK, neo-Nazis and militias, plan to show up at urban polling places across the nation and suppress the black vote, an article published by Politico revealed.
According to the report, Neo-Nazi leader Andrew Anglin plans to deploy thousands of ‘poll-watchers’ across all 50 states. His partners at the alt-right website “the Right Stuff” are touting plans to invade polling places in Philadelphia and hand out liquor and marijuana in the city’s “ghetto” on Election Day to induce residents to stay home.
Encouraged by Donald Trump’s rhetoric of a “rigged election”, the Oath Keepers, a group of former law enforcement and military members that often shows up in public heavily armed, is advising members to go undercover and conduct “intelligence-gathering” at polling places.
“Donald Trump has been telling his supporters for weeks and weeks and weeks now that they are about to have the election stolen from them by evil forces on behalf of the elites,” said Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center.
With all these armed groups out in force, “the possibility of violence on or around Election Day is very real,” Potok said.
National Socialist Movement, various factions of the Ku Klux Klan and the white nationalist American Freedom Party all are also deploying members to watch polls, the report says.
The KKK is also mobilizing for Election Day. Thomas Robb, National Director of Knights of Ku Klux Klan, which considers itself the national standard-bearer of the KKK, said party members across the country would be working to get voters to the polls for Trump.
Additionally, Louisiana Senate candidate David Duke said his supporters plan to monitor polls with an eye toward “some of the more inner-city areas.” Duke said his supporters would not limit their efforts to black neighborhoods. “It’s good to watch everywhere because there always can be major mistakes,” Duke said. “Or unintentional mistakes. Who knows?”
The Trump campaign is openly welcoming these groups’ tactics. A senior Trump adviser told Bloomberg Businessweek last month that the campaign is working on a three-pronged voter suppression strategy that includes an effort to depress black turnout. Though other Trump advisers later pushed back on the report, Anglin’s partners say they are hoping to put Trump over the top by doing just that.