Arizona US judge denies voter harassment order

Maxine SotoNov 07, 2016

Republican Donald Trump's presidential campaign is appealing a federal judge's order that seeks to prevent his campaign and supporters from harassing or intimidating OH voters.

In Ohio, a federal judge on Friday issued a temporary restraining order against Trump's campaign and his friend and informal adviser, Roger Stone, barring them from harassing or intimidating Ohio voters during Tuesday's election.

Democratic Party lawyers argued in a New Jersey court on Friday that the Republican Party was co-ordinating with Mr Trump to intimidate voters, accusations the Grand Old Party (GOP) denies in that state and in five others where Democrats are waging similar battles.

Democratic leaders recruited candidates around the state to run on a theme of Republican overreach in the Statehouse.

The initial case, filed in 1981, accused Republicans of trying to intimidate minority voters in a New Jersey election. Some had guns visible. Trump's VP nominee also said the campaign and the RNC were working together on "ballot integrity". The settlement, called a consent decree, bars the RNC from organizing any poll-watching measures until 2017.

The DNC had asked the court to grant injunctive relief, imposing sanctions and extending the decree - set to expire in 2017 - another eight years. Instead, strategists from both sides expect a Democratic pickup of roughly 10 to 15 seats in a chamber Republicans dominate 247-188, including three vacancies.

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Current party breakdown: 54 Republicans, 44 Democrats, two independents who caucus with the Democrats.

"(T) he Court will hear the parties after Election Day as to additional discovery on this point in order to develop a full record to determine whether an extension is warranted", Vazquez ruled.

Sunday's order reverses an order filed yesterday by Judge James Gwin of the US District Court for the Northern District of Ohio.

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The Ohio Democratic party had claimed in its lawsuit that the Trump campaign, Stone and his political action committee Stop the Steal were conspiring to suppress minorities in urban areas from casting ballots.

On the campaign trail, Trump has warned that the election may be rigged and has called on supporters to keep an eye on voting activity for possible signs of fraud in large cities.

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Gwin rejected a request for a restraining order against the state Republican Party.

Finally, this Wednesday will stink for most Americans as they realize how impotent support will be for the 45th president of the United States - a reality that will hold for months or years, if not for the entire duration of the administration.

Now, an OH federal judge is putting any hopeful voter harassers on notice with a restraining order. "The DNC offered the court nothing but politically charged allegations with no credible evidence whatsoever".

Republican spokeswoman Sarah Anderson said the lawsuit is "insulting and shameful". These days Cruz, desperate to avoid defeat by a 2018 primary challenger so he can return to the Senate and crank up his 2020 campaign for president, tries "supporting" Trump in campaign stops while making sure he is never caught on camera saying the words "I support Donald Trump". It already has been pointed out that just about any Republican other than Trump would wipe the floor up with Clinton - and just about any Democrat other than Clinton would have had the election in the bag long ago with Trump as an opponent. Similarly, Democrats think backlash from the Flint water crisis has hurt MI legislators and believe they could make gains there as well. Arizona Republican Party Chairman Robert Graham testified at a hearing Thursday that the party specifically trains its poll watchers not to harass or intimidate voters.

"Hillary Clinton is the most corrupt person ever to seek the presidency of the United States, and if she were to win it would create a constitutional crisis like no other". There has been no evidence Trump supporters have tried to intimidate anyone during Ohio's early voting period, during which 400,000 people have cast ballots.

"One can seriously question the wisdom of stirring up supporters about a controversial issue, encouraging them to go to a precinct that is not their own, and telling them to look for "voter fraud" without defining what it is, leaving individuals to their own devices to figure out how to go about that task", Judge Tuchi wrote in an order issued Friday.

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