Democrats sue to block voter intimidation, Republicans say none planned

Battle over self-appointed elections watchdogs

Donald Trump's claims that the election is being rigged started before early voting began. 

And some think he was implying zealous supporters should monitor polling places on their own.

Some claim he was suggesting possible voter intimidation, hearing implied racial intimidation.

He raised it in August in a speech in Akron.

"You've got to get everybody to go out and watch and go out and vote, And when I say watch, you know what I'm talking about right? You know what I'm talking about?" he asked.

Ohio Democrats have gone to Federal court to try to ban what they call possible voter harassment.

The party is suing the Ohio Republican Party, the Donald Trump campaign, and Stop the Steal, an independent organization started by Trump backer Roger Stone registering poll watchers.

Party Chairman David Pepper said Trump supporters are being encouraged to violate Federal law.

Democrats want the court to ban exit-polling initiatives and self-appointed poll minors unless individuals fulfill the legal requirements to be an election watcher.

Ohio Republicans are calling this a "publicity stunt," claiming there's no evidence of any planned illegal action and the GOP is in favor of greater access to the ballot.

Lawyers for the Trump campaign claim it has no involvement or knowledge of Stone and his group's efforts.

But they claim a court order banning monitors would violate Trump backers rights.

Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook says there is not much concern about intimidation, that lawsuits in four states were filed just to make sure Trump's more aggressive supporters did not cause problems.

Secretary of State Jon Husted says voter intimidation is against the law and warned it  will be stopped and if appropriate, prosecuted. "Zero tolerance," he said.

Federal Judge James Gwin must decide the case by Tuesday.

He was appointed by President Bill Clinton.

Similar lawsuits were filed in three other states.


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