North Carolina election board investigating reports of voter intimidation

Volunteers outside the Chavis Community Center in Raleigh, North Carolina, USA, 03 November 2020. Americans vote on Election Day to choose between re-electing Donald J. Trump or electing Joe Biden as the 46th President of the United States to serve from 2021 through 2024.

Photo: Adobe Stock

16 incidents of alleged voter intimidation and interference are being investigated by the North Carolina State Board of Elections (NCSBE), according to an ABC News report.

In a news conference on Monday, NCSBE Board Director Karen Brinson Bell said that the board would look into the allegations and then consider further action.

“There could be situations where, depending on the circumstance, it could be a voter intimidation or something that interferes with the voter’s ability to cast their ballot; those could be raised to [the Department of Justice] and civil rights violations,” Brinson Bell said, per ABC News. “But we are not the prosecutors. We will turn that over to DOJ or potentially it could be a situation that would be turned over to a district attorney.”

The incidents in question reportedly occurred across multiple North Carolina counties — including Wake, Guilford, and Hartnett — and included claims of individuals photographing or filming one-stop workers in their vehicles and poll observers getting too close to voters.

According to WBTV, other complaints included aggressive campaigning, that voters and election workers were being yelled at, and that at least one poll worker was followed from a voting site to an election office and then to the worker’s home.

Election integrity has been a critical concern for voters ahead of the 2022 midterm elections, and with fears of potential cheating on the minds of many voters, tensions can run high.

However, protecting the rights and safety of voters and election workers is also an election integrity concern.

“We want civility,” Brinson Bell noted, per WBTV. “We want people to be able to cast their ballot without fear of intimidation or interference. We ask that the campaigners be respectful. Get their message out without intimidating voters, or intimidating other candidates or campaigners.”

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