Speak up against Voter Intimidation

You’ve been standing for hours, moving a few steps at a time, patiently waiting for your chance to vote.  Everybody around you is pretty quiet, except for this one guy who is talking way louder than he needs to be. And then you notice what he’s saying.

“More (expletive deleted) illegal aliens voting,” he says, his face beginning to turn a blotchy red. “Yeah, (expletive deleted) illegals trying to steal the election.”

And then you notice the older couple standing nearby. They had been speaking quietly to each other in Spanish, but suddenly stopped.

They are, you think, pretending they don’t hear. Everybody seems to be pretending not to hear. Nobody wants to get into an argument. They just want to vote.


The last several weeks have been a relentless barrage of emails, phone calls, television ads, and social media posts. Eligible voters across the country—particularly in certain states—are daily, even hourly, reminded, urged, and exhorted to VOTE.

So you’re good. We get it. You don’t need anyone else nagging at you. But this isn’t just about your responsibility to vote. It’s also about our shared responsibility to ensure that all our fellow citizens are able to exercise this most fundamental right—and without fear of interference, coercion, or harassment.

We know that new Americans, non-English speakers, and voters of color are far too often the targets of these tactics.  We also know that voter intimidation—in whatever form it takes—is against the law. 

If you see or hear something that doesn’t feel right, speak up. Talk to the election chief at your polling location. If that doesn’t solve the problem, seek help. Contact your local election office or call Election Protection at 866-OUR-VOTE.

We have the right to a free and fair election, but we also must do our part—however seemingly miniscule—to protect and defend it.

Above all, let’s be good to each other.



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