A startling story hit the news wire on Thursday. This coming from St. Petersberg, Florida. With tensions already spiking ahead of Election Day, there is new reason to be alarmed.
As reports have indicated two armed men set up a tent outside of an early voting location telling that they were with the Trump campaign. That surely gives Americans cause for concern.
Law enforcement officials made it clear they were not authorized. Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections Julie Marcus stated: “The Sheriff [Bob Gualtieri] told me the persons that were dressed in these security uniforms told sheriff’s deputies that they belonged to a licensed security company and they indicated, and this has not been confirmed yet, that they were hired by the Trump campaign.”
The sheriff sounded off as he announced this activity would not be tolerated. “I just don’t want to get too deep into the specifics because we’re trying to balance it. But I’ll say it’s a combination of uniformed personnel who will be in the area, and also we’re gonna use some undercover personnel just to monitor the situation.”
Biden’s campaign issued a statement against voter intimidation tactics. “In the United States of America, we cannot and will not stand for any behavior that could intimidate voters from participating in our democracy. Our country stands for freedom, liberty, and democracy, and these scare tactics have no place in our state.”
In addition, “It’s clear that those running scared will try anything in the closing weeks of the election. There are no excuses for this behavior. We are committed to making sure every Floridian can vote and every vote is counted.”
Florida state law dictates that nobody can carry a firearm to a polling place. The incident is still under investigation.
Earlier this week, several registered Democrats in the state of Florida reported receiving threatening emails that had the subject line “Vote for Trump or else!”
The email address connected to the threatening emails appears to be linked to the right-wing group the Proud Boys. The Proud Boys are an extremist group known to often become violent. Local officials believe the emails were an attempt at voter intimidation. The FBI is currently investigating.
The threatening email told Democratic voters to cast their ballot for Donald Trump or “we will come after you.” The email went on to state that they were in possession of “all of their information” and that “I would take this seriously if I were you.”
The email originated from “[email protected],” which in the past was directly affiliated with the Proud Boys group.
The control of the email address, which was created back in March of 2017, was changed on Monday and the website associated with it was taken offline on Tuesday.
Officials with the FBI are currently investigating the threatening emails as potential voter intimidation, which is a federal offense that could result in a year in prison.
“You will vote for Trump on Election Day or we will come after you,” the email read. “Change your party affiliation to Republican to let us know you received our message and will comply. We will know which candidate you voted for. I would take this seriously if I were you.”
The Proud Boys’ Seattle Chapter denies that the group is behind the emails and called the situation a “false flag operation and a LARP being carried out by someone who is soon to be exposed.”
The total number of Florida Democrats that received the email is unknown at this time, but the email was sent to only voters registered as Democrats. Democratic voters in two of the state’s largest counties, Brevard and Alachua, received the emails.