De Blasio to ship ballot screens claiming Trump can ‘intimidate voters’

Mayor de Blasio is sending hundreds of volunteers to ballot websites in poor and immigrant neighborhoods on Election Day claiming he wants to guard in opposition to a push to “intimidate voters” that he pinned on President Trump — regardless of little to no proof of suppression efforts within the 5 boroughs.

“The president has made very clear he’s aspiring to defy the need of the voters,” de Blasio mentioned on WNYC radio Friday.

“We need to imagine that nothing like that may occur right here however once you begin saying it may possibly’t occur right here that’s precisely when it does occur,” de Blasio mentioned.

New York Metropolis is just not a swing district and Hillary Clinton took 79 percent of the vote in 2016.

WNYC host Brian Lehrer requested Hizzoner about issues that as a result of he’s a progressive Democrat his plan might “backfire and encourage the Republican Occasion to ship out its ballot employees.”

De Blasio ignored the query.

Lehrer additionally puzzled why Metropolis Corridor wasn’t leaving the work to extra skilled nonpartisan teams. On Thursday, Widespread Trigger, a half century-old good authorities group, announced its own in depth election safety program of in-person and digital ballot screens who’ve undergone in depth coaching. The group had the same program in 2016 and consists of early polling websites not like Metropolis Corridor’s plan that may solely occur on Nov 3.

WNYC host Brian Lehrer
WNYC host Brian LehrerJohn Roca

Nonetheless the mayor insisted his untested Eleventh-hour plan, referred to as The Election Observers Corps, was superior.

Up to now perhaps this was one thing we may go away to nonprofit efforts — they’re excellent, well-intentioned efforts — however this 12 months we could also be coping with one thing extra systematic,” he mentioned.

De Blasio mentioned the volunteers would come with metropolis employees from businesses just like the Regulation Division and DemocracyNYC. He couldn’t present specifics on what number of screens can be out on Election Day or how they’d be skilled earlier than then.

“I’d reasonably be too vigilant and too ready to have lots of of individuals out on the polls able to act than be painfully stunned on Election Day by a voter suppression effort,” de Blasio mentioned.

A tweet despatched Friday from an official mayoral account mentioned the election corps can be comprised of “civically-minded New Yorkers” skilled by metropolis attorneys and DemocracyNYC officers. The screens would report any situations of “voter intimidation, suppression or harassment” to “central workers” who would in flip notify the state lawyer common and Board of Elections.

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