One of the militants involved in the standoff at Malheur National Wildlife Refuge is planning an armed demonstration on Election Day outside Nevada polling places.
Corey Lequieu, a member of the Three Percenters militia network, believes the armed demonstrations will be justified to defend against actions he expects Nov. 3 from antifascist activists and Black Lives Matter supporters, reported California Public Radio.
"I got a feeling that BLM and antifa are going to be out here doing voter intimidation,” said Lequieu, who was sentenced to two and a half years in prison for taking part in the standoff against federal agents in 2016 alongside anti-government activist Ammon Bundy.
Experts and government agencies alike have warned that white supremacist and anti-government extremists may carry out violence or voter intimidation tactics against minority voters and Democratic politicians, especially if President Donald Trump loses -- but Lequieu sees things the other way around.
“I think Trump is going to win real big,” he said. “They're going to lose their minds and want to start some more rioting and looting.”
Lequieu is legally prohibited from carrying a gun due to his Malheur conviction, but he wears tactical gear to counterprotest against racial justice demonstrations alongside often heavily armed comrades.
“None of us ever hope that we have to use our weapon," said Battle Born Patriots member Adam Moore. "That is the last thing any of us want. We don’t like to hear that people are intimidated by it.”
But that has been the effect of those militia members turning up at protests, and armed demonstrations outside polling places carries a risk in a potentially volatile election as the president stokes mistrust.
“When you factor in the Patriot militias who are loyal to Trump, there is a high likelihood that more violence can occur,” said researcher Samantha Kutner, who has been tracking the far right since 2017. “It's important to account for how bad things can get and prepare for the worst.”