The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Voter and Election Worker Intimidation

Nov 7, 2022

Extreme right-wing groups are threatening voters and election workers in states all around the country. In a widely publicized incident in Arizona, right-wing militia men dressed in tactical gear and carrying guns stood watch at an early voting drop box in Maricopa County, creating a threatening image for people dropping off their ballots. Other drop boxes were also staked out with pictures being taken of those using them.

While these Arizona incidents were well-publicized, they are far from the only ones. A report from the Brennan Center, a voting rights watch group, recently warned of threats to voters and election officials in ten states—Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Wisconsin. The report found that over half of all election officials in these states feared for the physical safely of their colleagues. And even before the Brennan Center report came out, the FBI issued a press release warning that seven states continued to see unusual levels of threats to election workers.

Clearly extreme right groups, in support of former President Trump’s claim of wide-spread election fraud in 2020, are trying to undermine elections and create an excuse for right wing politicians to declare themselves winners of elections whether they were the winners or not. They don’t want the votes of ordinary people to count, if voters were able to cast their votes at all.

While Democratic politicians and their news media present this activity as a new development that threatens to bring down democracy, a closer look reveals that U.S. history is filled with the same violent activity. For decades following the Civil War and Reconstruction, armed vigilantes working for the Democratic Party threatened the public, the best-known being Ku Klux Klan terrorist activity against black voters in the South.

Both major parties’ histories are filled with examples, not just the Republican Party. And when Democratic politicians speak of a threat to democracy, they carefully avoid their role in bringing down governments in Central and South America, in the Middle East, imposing the interests of U.S. capitalism.

Just as it is foolish to believe that an Arizona federal judge, appointed by Donald Trump and a member of the right-wing Federalist Society, will stop vigilantes, it is a mistake to believe that the Democratic Party stands for protecting the rights of the working population.