Voters in Florida, a key battleground, have reported multiple accounts of voters saying they have encountered aggressive, intimidating behaviour, according to an independent group monitoring election issues nationwide.
“In Florida we continue to receive a substantial amount of complaints about voter intimidation,” The Washington Post quoted Kristen Clarke, President of Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, which is running an independent effort to field voter complaints and questions, as saying.
Clarke said her group received reports from Miami-Dade County of “yelling, people using megaphones aggressively”.
In Jacksonville, Florida, Clarke said: “An unauthorised individual was found inside a polling place.”
This person was at St. Paul’s Methodist Church, a polling precinct in what Clarke described as a part of Jacksonville with predominantly black residents.
“He was asked to leave and refused,” she said. “Through our intervention and calls, that individual has been removed. Unauthorised individuals have no place in the polls.”
During early voting, Clarke’s group also received reports from Hollywood, Florida about “aggressive individuals hovering around individuals as they approach the polling site”, she said during a briefing with reporters.
“Some have turned away because they did not feel able to freely cast [a] ballot.”
Clarke said her group has received reports from about 80,000 voters since the beginning of early voting and expects the figure to reach 175,000 reports by the time the polls close.