In Michigan's 8th Congressional District, Democratic Rep. Elissa Slotkin has not only been campaigning for reelection — the former CIA officer has also been sounding the alarm about the possibility voter intimidation and things that President Donald Trump might do to steal the election. And she discusses some of her concerns in an interview with Politico published this week.
Politico's Tim Alberta explains, "(Slotkin) worries that just winning is no longer enough. With the president regularly lobbing allegations of a rigged election — one that he cannot possibly lose fair and square — Slotkin, a former CIA officer, worries that America could be hurtling toward a civil and constitutional crisis. This is not what a vulnerable freshman campaigner is often preoccupied with down the home stretch of their maiden reelection campaign, but Slotkin can think of little else these days."
It isn't hard to understand why Slotkin is worried. Her state is one in which the Democratic governor, Gretchen Whitmer, was recently the target of a kidnapping/terrorist plot by far-right white nationalists.
Slotkin told Politico, "I want to make sure that we get through Election Day without any incidents of violence, without any threatening behavior so we can conduct our elections free and fair and devoid of intimidation. I've been working on that — literally just today, we had a big meeting of all the elected leaders in the district, from our clerks to our town supervisors to our police chiefs. One topic on the agenda was Election Day, the protocols and the plan, if there are instances of intimidation or attempted intimidation."
The congresswoman stressed that she has been speaking to elections officials in her state as well as law enforcement officers in an effort to make sure that Michigan residents don't experience voter intimidation—and that votes are counted accurately in her state.
"My impression when talking to my peers outside of our state is that we are actually quite decently prepared," Slotkin told Politico. "The fact that our primary was so late, and we had kind of a dry run, was important. And if you look at the results from that primary — and we processed more absentee ballots than we ever had — I think we had basically all the results within 36 hours."
In addition to Michigan, Slotkin cited Pennsylvania, New York and Florida as three states she is "watching really closely." Slotkin told Politico, "If Republican leaders refuse to accept that Biden wins in any scenario, then we're in some of the more destabilizing scenarios."
During the interview, Slotkin discussed the specifics of her "voter protection plan."
"There's basically four problem sets," Slotkin told Politico. "One, worst-case scenario: intimidation inside a polling location — someone brings a weapon to make a point and refuses to leave. Second, a threat —intimidation is within a hundred feet from the polling locations. They're allowed to be there. They're allowed to campaign for whoever they want, but people feel like they have to walk a gauntlet in order to get inside a polling location."
Slotkin continued, "Third, a much lesser problem is the disincentives for people voting — they see lines when they drive by, most of these lines are going to be outside. How do we keep people motivated to stay? How do we identify those places where, if they're standing in line for three hours — I don't expect this in a lot of places — but what do we do in that scenario? And the fourth was just bad weather, I think."