Civic Nebraska warns against voter intimidation ahead of Tuesday’s election
LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – Political organizations are gearing up for the mid-term election on Tuesday. Civic Nebraska released a guide on how to spot voter intimidation at the polls.
The guide makes it clear that voter intimidation is illegal, as the First Amendment does not protect intimidation in the form of true threats “where the speaker means to communicate a serious expression of an intent to commit an act of unlawful violence” against another person or group.
Carrying firearms to a polling site is also illegal under Nebraska law.
According to Civic Nebraska, voter intimidation could be anything from disrupting voter lines to spreading false information, or threatening violence.
“The hyper-partisanship and polarization that are presented to some voters, they may feel this like this is really hanging on the edge of a cliff, and they need to do whatever they can to make sure the election comes out the way they want,” said Steve Smith, the director of communications for Civic Nebraska.
The midterms have more opportunities for voter intimidation. Election Commissioner Dave Shively said in June that this election usually brings some of the highest turnouts.
“The presidential election is going to be the type of election there’s going to be our highest turnout, and then next is going to be that statewide general election, which we’ll have this fall when we have a gubernatorial race going and some other races as well,” said Shively.
There have not been any reported cases of voter intimidation at this time.
“We would be remiss and we would not be doing our jobs if we weren’t preparing for this in advance,” said Smith. “If it doesn’t happen, great. If it does, we’ll be ready.”