Rumor vs Reality

Rumor: The other side is going to have gangs at the polls to stop you from voting. Reality: Bullying you out of voting is illegal. Report it if you see it.

Published October 13, 2020

Intimidation takes many forms. It can look like:

  • A poll watcher questioning you about your citizenship, criminal record, ability to speak English, or pass a test.
  • Signs that say police will be checking warrants at the polls.
  • Lies about when to vote, such as “your party votes on November 4” instead of November 3.
  • A letter telling people about the penalties for voter fraud.
  • Protesters, mobs or private “militias” near a polling place.

Often, this intimidation targets people of color, people whose primary language isn’t English and people thought to be immigrants. In any form, trying to intimidate you from voting is illegal and should be reported county election officials and the county district attorney.

Related cards


Cornell Law School Legal Information Institute: 18 U.S. Code § 594.Intimidation of voters

ACLU: Know Your Rights: Voting Rights

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