Trump’s War on Election Integrity Follows a Racist Playbook Used in 1980s Orange CountyBreaking News
tags: racism, Voter Suppression, 2020 Election
Their Republican bosses gave the uniformed security guards one task on election day: Scare away people from voting during a tight, crucial race.
They stood with arms crossed behind ballot boxes, asked for ID from confused voters outside polling places and wrote down license plates numbers. Some held signs in English and Spanish that read “Non-Citizens Can’t Vote.” Others just glowered.
The move caused a national uproar. But the GOP officials who orchestrated it didn’t care.
They claimed the actions were “honorable” and done to protect the “sanctity of the ballot” because they heard rumors that Democrats planned to rig the election by dropping off busloads of undocumented residents at voting booths.
Sound familiar? This is the Donald Trump playbook for Nov. 3, according to the vow he made during his first presidential debate against Democratic candidate Joe Biden.
“I’m urging my supporters to go into the polls and watch very carefully,” he snarled when moderator Chris Wallace asked if Trump pledged not to declare victory until the election was independently certified. “That’s what has to happen” because “they” — he didn’t specify who, but it was obviously Democrats — “cheat.”
But it was also the voter suppression that happened in Orange County on Nov. 8, 1988.
That morning, 20 goons hired by the local Republican Party spread across Santa Ana. They haunted voting spots with special meaning to the city’s Mexican community: a Catholic church. A Boys & Girls Club. A senior center.
The tactic was designed to help Curt Pringle, a Republican running for a vacant Assembly seat that year. By the time FBI agents chased off the rent-a-cops, their job was done: The drapery-store worker won his race by fewer than 1,000 votes.
The sordid episode crossed my mind almost as soon as Trump issued his cynical call for electoral eagle eyes.
This is what voter suppression looks like.
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