NEW YORK – Democrats in four states already have gone to federal court to block an effort by supporters of Donald Trump to prevent voter fraud, charging they are trying to intimidate minority voters.

Led by Marc Elias of Perkins Coie LLP in Washington, the general counsel for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign, the Democratic Party in Nevada, Arizona, Pennsylvania and Ohio is suing to block political activist Roger Stone from putting volunteers at polling locations to take exit polls and public surveys to prevent voter fraud.

Stop the Steal. Inc., a non-profit 527 grassroots organization created by Stone, a longtime adviser to Trump, wants to post non-partisan “Vote Protectors” at some 7,000 polling locations in key precincts throughout the nation. The volunteers will be trained to take scientifically based exit polls to help determine whether or not the final totals reported from voting machines reflect the actual vote.

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The four state lawsuits charge Stop the Steal and the various state GOP organizations for “conspiring to threaten, intimidate, and thereby prevent minority votes in urban neighborhoods from voting in the 2016 election.”

Stone told WND the lawsuit is without merit.

“Precincts are chosen base on one-party rule and past reports of irregularities, not racial make-up, as falsely reported in the alt-left media,” Stone said.

“Since it is our intention to interview voters voluntary after they vote, it is hard to see how voters would find this intimidating,” he insisted. “Our methodology is no different than that used in the network consortium exit polls.”

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Stone told WND that Stop the Steal has not coordinated with the Trump campaign, the Republican National Committee or the individual Republican state committees.

“We seek only to determine if the election is honestly and fairly conducted and to provide an evidentiary basis for a challenge to the election if that is not the case,” he insisted. “I assume the purpose of this bogus lawsuit is to distract from the voter-fraud the Democrats have traditionally engaged in.”

A 2015 publication of U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), a division of the State Department, titled “Assessing and Verifying Election Results,” noted Parallel Vote Tabulation, PVT, is the most scientifically reliable methodology to verify results, whether the voting is done by paper ballot or by voting machine.

The USAID publication describes PVT:

  • Parallel vote tabulation, sometimes called a quick count, is an independent tabulation of polling station results – using data from all stations or a representative sample of them – for the purpose of projecting election results and/ or verifying their accuracy. To be credible, a PVT should be conducted by trained observers who observe and report on the entire process at the polling station on Election Day.
  • PVT observers collect the reported results from the polling stations and use their data to independently tabulate the election results. Discrepancies between the PVT results and the official results may suggest manipulation or reveal mistakes in the tabulation process.

USAID notes exit polls share characteristics with PVT, with both utilizing a methodology that relies largely upon surveys. Exit polls, however, are less rigorous. While exit polls might be suggestive of results, PVT surveys tend to be more reliable in their conclusions, USAID says.

“Exit polls can deter fraud at the national level when publicized before an election,” the USAID publication notes with regard to detecting fraud.

“Exit polls, however, are conducted outside polling stations, minimizing the deterrence effect on polling station officials.”

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