Is Beto O'Rourke's campaign intimidating voters?

politics | Nov 05, 2018 | By Martin Barillas

Beto O’Rourke is running to fill the seat currently occupied by Republican U.S. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas. A progressive Democrat, he has made appeals to young voters and minorities. On Spotify, the most popular music streaming service, the O’Rourke campaign released an ad in the week before Tuesday’s election that is directed at voters age 18 to 35.

“Make a plan to vote right now,” the ad says. “Remember, who you vote for is secret. But whether you vote or not goes into the public record. You and your neighbors can look up who voted after the election.”

Spero News called the O’Rourke campaign for comment and to ask whether the ad is encouraging intimidation by O’Rourke’s supporters. There was no response from the campaign.

18 U.S. Code § 594 prohibits the intimidation of anyone for the purpose of interfering with the right to vote. It reads: “Whoever intimidates, threatens, coerces, or attempts to intimidate, threaten, or coerce, any other person for the purpose of interfering with the right of such other person to vote or to vote as he may choose, or of causing such other person to vote for, or not to vote for, any candidate for the office of President, Vice President, Presidential elector, Member of the Senate, Member of the House of Representatives, Delegate from the District of Columbia, or Resident Commissioner, at any election held solely or in part for the purpose of electing such candidate, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.”

See the original ad below:

 

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Spero News editor Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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