Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Republicans Plan To Have 50,000 Volunteers Monitor Polling Sites For "Suspicious" Activity (Right After The Second-Busiest Month For Gun Sales In 8 Years And The Most Background Checks In FBI History)

Rachel Epstein, Marie Claire, April 24, 2020:
The New York Times reported that 2 million guns were sold in the U.S. in the month of March alone—the second-busiest for gun sales after December 2012, the month of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting and just following Barack Obama's re-election. ...

After intense lobbying from the NRA, the Department of Homeland Security classified gun shops as "essential businesses." ...

The FBI processed 3.7 million background checks in March, the bureau's highest number for a single month; meanwhile, the NRA capitalized on the public health crisis by publishing articles like, "Pandemic Exposes Dangers of So-Called 'Universal' Background Checks." The article stated that Americans "cannot trust government to act as a gatekeeper on their fundamental rights" and "Americans must jealously guard their right to privately transfer firearms without government interference."
The Republican Party plans to recruit 50,000 volunteers to aggressively monitor polling sites in 15 key states for "suspicious" activity this November.

A 2018 federal court ruling lifted a decades-long consent decree barring the Republican Party from monitoring polls without a court's consent. The ban was instituted in 1982 after Republicans intimidated minority voters in New Jersey by hiring off-duty law enforcement officers to patrol polling places in minority precincts. The officers wore armbands ("National Ballot Security Task Force"); some of them carried firearms. After additional instances of voter intimidation were found, the ban was modified and extended in 1987 and 2009.

A recent recording published by The Intercept revealed Republican donors and activists plotting to send Navy veterans and off-duty police officers to "inner city" and predominantly Native American precincts this November to challenge voter registrations.

Back in 2016, Donald Trump urged his supporters to "watch" voting precincts in black-majority cities. Trump was so convinced he would lose the 2016 election that he had a comprehensive plan in place to challenge the election results and claim widespread voter fraud. Even though he won, Trump has not been able to resist making numerous claims of fraud. It's clear that's his plan if he loses in 2020. And now he has a large army of armed cult members who (as has been shown during this pandemic) have zero regard for the lives of other Americans.

On Wednesday morning, Trump threatened two states (Michigan, which he barely won (a margin of 0.3%) in 2016, and Nevada, which he lost by 2.4%), saying he would prevent them from receiving federal funding under the CARES Act if they made it voting more accessible. It's illegal and impeachable behaviour, but Trump will not likely face any consequences. Another front in Trump's war on fair and accessible voting is the destruction of the postal service.

Trump insists it's the states' complete responsibility to find protective equipment and COVID-19 tests and deciding when it's safe to relax distancing guidelines, but he must have the unquestioned authority to stop any states from using legal means to make voting easier. While Trump admits he voted by mail two months ago, that was different.

Also today: Trump tossed off another murder accusation against MSNBC's Joe Scarborough and declared China was guilty of a worldwide genocide ... before 9:00 AM.

And while Trump considers illegal acts against Michigan . . .

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