Election monitoring has followed a historical history, the surge in postal voting due to the pandemic of the new coronavirus, and President Trump’s claim that postal voting is fraudulent. The implications of monitoring will be explained below.
What is election monitoring?
Election observers became part of the US electoral system dating back to the 18th century. Surveillance activities are conducted in accordance with state law and local government rules, and people elected from both the ruling and opposition parties watch over votes and even mutual watchers to ensure smooth election progress.
Different states have different names for election observers and different roles. In some areas, there is a clear distinction between “watchers” who specialize in surveillance and “challengeers” who can point out the illegality of voting. However, in other areas, the same person has the power to monitor and vote against.
In some cases, when supporters of a specific candidate try to invite a vote to the camp side by posting a signboard or distributing leaflets outside the polling place, it is stipulated how close these supporters can be.
Dissatisfaction with the over-the-right act of the observer also frequently appears. Occasionally, observers have challenged voters’ voting qualifications with the intention of discriminating against minorities, and proceedings have been filed to prevent such actions.
In the 1999 elections in Hamtramck, Michigan, Challengers sent by an organization called “Citizens for Better Hamtramck” were 40 Arabs with “dark skin tones and obvious Arabian names.” He questioned the voting qualifications of Americans of American descent and was forced by the election authorities to swear that they were American citizens. The city then accepted a command from the Justice Department to train election workers, and a federal official was appointed to oversee the city’s elections until 2003.
In 1981, there was a disturbing act in the New Jersey elections where Republicans placed armed personnel outside polling stations, primarily in areas where minorities lived, and the party has since gone too far to secure voting. I agreed not to take any measures. However, the deal expired in 2018 as a federal court rejected a request for renewal from the Democratic Party, and the Republican Party will again be able to “security” the polling place without restrictions in this election.
Regulations regarding election monitoring
Election monitoring qualifications and powers vary greatly from state to state. For example, in Pennsylvania, in addition to election monitoring, turnout and voting machines can be inspected and voting can be challenged by raising concerns to electoral authorities. However, direct communication with voters and complaints simply to delay voting are prohibited.
The qualification requirements for observers cannot be summarized, but they are usually assumed to be registered voters. In some states, you must be accredited by the election authority in advance. In the case of North Carolina, a “morally superior person” is required.
State legislation, which conducts most of the votes by mail, also allows observers. In Oregon, political parties and their candidates can send out people to monitor the counting and counting of election workers, but there is a stipulation that such observers must not interfere with these procedures.
Characteristics of this year
With the pandemic, this year’s elections will have more voters than ever using mail instead of polling stations.
Mr. Trump repeatedly said that mail ballots became a hotbed of fraud without giving concrete grounds, and the camp generally forbids one person to post multiple ballots at once like Pennsylvania. Thousands of volunteers are being gathered to monitor such improper conduct.
Experts say that what is being tested in these moves is an election-related legal framework that presupposes going to polling stations on election day. Professor Terry Madonna (Political Science) of Franklin and Marshall University in Pennsylvania may try to challenge observers to the place of early voting or to vote voters who are trying to post a mail ballot. Regarding sex, he said that there is no rulebook for such things.
Anxiety of threatening with a gun
Just as protests and armed civilian groups clashed this year, groups promoting fair voting rights are not returning gun-intimidating groups outside the polling place. Anxiety about the heel is spreading.
Fierce battle states such as Pennsylvania, Michigan, North Carolina, Wisconsin, and Virginia allow “open carry” for citizens to carry guns in public. There is no clear stipulation prohibiting bringing firearms to polling stations.
Of course, any attempt to threaten voters is a violation of state or federal legislation. Several voting groups are poised to bring together a large number of attorneys to combat election obstruction and, in some cases, seek court orders to suspend such actions.