Donald Trump has repeatedly told his followers to monitor polling places on election day — and some of his most devoted white nationalist followers are heeding his advice.
Politico reports that Trump-supporting neo-Nazi groups are planning to flood polling areas in Philadelphia next week to not only watch for supposed “voter fraud,” but also to actively discourage people to stay at home.
One of the groups’ vote suppression tactics will be to hand out free alcohol and marijuana to voters in the “ghetto” to encourage them to get wasted instead of voting.
“We also have some teams going in to the ghettos in Philly with 40s and weed to give out to the local residents, which we think will lead to more of them staying home,” a representative for the pro-Trump website TheRightStuff.biz told Politico. “We have had success with this in the past.”
Politico also reports that the Oath Keepers militia group is training its members to conduct undercover “sting” operations to monitor polling places for supposed fraud, and is aiming to watch “thousands of precincts across the country.”
Nonetheless, there’s no evidence that these tactics will be effective and there’s good reason to believe they will backfire.
“If on the morning of Election Day it turns out that we have white supremacists standing around looking threatening at polling places, I think it would arouse anger,” Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center tells Politico. “People would vote just to prove they’re not being intimidated by these radical racists.”