Massachusetts held a Democratic primary recently; you might have missed it, in a haze of other election news and everything else that’s going on. But something really, really important happened there, and it wasn’t just who won the election. It’s something that didn’t get nearly as much coverage as it should have, even in progressive media, where there are growing concerns about what, exactly, is going to happen when we hit the polls in November.
Tea Party members turned out in Worcester, MA to intimidate voters with a variety of tactics including filming them, challenging their credentials, making false claims in fliers, and criticising Spanish speakers. Their reasons for organising the campaign were extremely transparent, and also lay the blueprints for more to come; they were responding to a massive voter registration campaign that had the audacity to attempt to get more low-income people and historically disenfranchised populations on the rolls.
At the same time, Tea Party members are organising a poll watching campaign they’re calling ‘True the Vote‘ in November. This nakedly partisan organisation aims to augment traditional voter suppression tactics like distributing false information about elections and the polls with policing polling stations, an activity allowed in 39 states. Groups like this one are actively lobbying for restrictions on voting rights, like the voting ID laws creeping across the nation, and they’re also hitting the ground with campaigns like Code Red, specifically and obviously targeting minority populations.