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November 3, 2016Alerts

DRP Denounces Voter Intimidation and “Rigged Election” in Pennsylvania

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Contact: Peri Jude Radecic, CEO
(717) 236-8110 ext. 302

Disability Rights Pennsylvania Denounces Voter Intimidation and “Rigged Election” in Pennsylvania

Harrisburg, PA – Disability Rights Pennsylvania (DRP), a leader in disability rights legal and advocacy services for nearly forty (40) years, denounces the conspiracy theories about a “rigged election” in Pennsylvania. DRP denounces any attempt to intimidate or scare away eligible voters on Election Day.

“It is absolutely impossible to coordinate a “rigged election” in Pennsylvania,” said Peri Jude Radecic, Chief Executive Officer of
Disability Rights Pennsylvania. “Our Commonwealth has 67 different County Election Directors, with different party affiliations, different voting technology, and committed election officials in each precinct who assure the integrity of our elections. To say otherwise, weakens our democracy.”

To build upon the conspiracy theory of a “rigged election”, some candidates have called for additional poll watchers across Pennsylvania. Poll watchers recruited under this conspiracy theory may file unwarranted challenges.

“Intimidation and a desire to interfere with the outcome of the election is not a valid reason to challenge a voter’s right to cast a ballot in Pennsylvania,” said Peri Jude Radecic. “Poll watchers who cross the line and illegally challenge voters will cause delays, long lines, and face penalties of up to $5,000 fines and possible prison time.”

In Pennsylvania, poll watchers may challenge a voter on two grounds, identity and residency. They must have a good-faith reason to believe a voter is not who they claim to be or the voter does not live in that district.

“The best thing a person can do to counter voter intimidation is to know their rights and vote,” said Ms. Radecic.

DRP is part of a non-partisan Election Protection Coalition working hard to assure that all eligible voters know their rights, have access to the polls, and can cast a ballot on November 8th.

If a voter observes intimidation, or believes they are subject to intimidation, call 1-866-OUR-VOTE from the polling location. Election Protection volunteers will provide additional information and will report the activity to the county District Attorney’s office and election officials. Counties are required to investigate violations and report them to the District Attorney, who can then prosecute.

“What Pennsylvania does need,” said Ms. Radecic, “is election reform to modernize voting technology, allow for early voting, and youth preregistration. For youth with disabilities, voter registration should be part of every Individualized Education Plan.”

Disability Rights Pennsylvania (DRP) is the statewide protection and advocacy agency for Pennsylvanians with disabilities. DRP protects and advocates for the rights of people with disabilities so that they may live the lives they choose, free from abuse, neglect, discrimination, and segregation. DRP’s vision is a Commonwealth where people of all abilities are equal and free.