News. Debate. Community. Levers for a better democracy.
North Carolina election officials warn people about voter intimidation at polling sites

Education and outreach can beat voter intimidation

Millions of Americans are already voting, and concerns about possible voter intimidation have been on the rise. President Trump's comments at the first presidential debate, along with similar calls for "poll watchers," have put a focus on groups that may try to interfere with the right to vote.

Thankfully, voter interference is against the law, and election officials can address the issue ahead of Election Day. Here's what we know: When it comes to intimidation, election officials are empowered to protect voters and maintain peace and safety at their polling locations. In fact, this is a core part of their responsibilities.

Education and community outreach are key to preventing potential trouble or defusing conflicts once they begin. Local election officials are well positioned to reach voters. They're among the most trusted sources of government information.

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Even if Congress doesn't approve more election funding for the states, voters shouldn't panic, writes Trevor Potter.

If coronavirus relief talks end, states will be on their own for the election

President Trump ended negotiations with Speaker Nancy Pelosi over a new Covid-19 economic aid package. Then he urged Congress to immediately pass some spending bills, but excluded funding to states.

Unfortunately, it looks as if state and local governments won't be getting the money needed to cover extra costs for this year's election, for processing a flood of mail-in ballots or new pandemic-related safety protocols. With no additional federal help coming, states are in a hole. Because of the entrenched partisan disputes, some have even turned to private funding.

Election funding was unable to make it through Congress despite overwhelming public support. An online poll for the Campaign Legal Center and Protect Democracy showed 72 percent of likely 2020 voters backed more money for safe and secure elections.

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