Equality Florida Condemns Voter Intimidation Attempts in Alachua County
Gainesville, FL — Late Tuesday, Equality Florida was contacted by an LGBTQ voter who received an email purportedly from the Proud Boys, a right-wing, white supremacist, anti-LGBTQ organization who engage in acts of violence and are accused of widespread voter intimidation across the country, threatening unspecified consequences if they did not vote for Donald Trump. The email appears to use publicly available voter data to harass and intimidate an Alachua County voter. The Alachua County Supervisor of Elections released a statement saying that they are aware of “multiple instances of voter intimidation via email” and have referred these cases to local, state and federal officials. Similar emails have been received in Brevard County.
“This is an outrageous case of voter intimidation just 14 days before the most consequential Presidential election of our lifetimes,” said Nadine Smith, Equality Florida Executive Director. “The Proud Boys are among a cohort of dangerous, violent extremist groups who are working overtime to intimidate voters and depress turnout. We’re calling on federal officials to conduct a swift and thorough investigation, identify the source of this intimidation, and put a stop to it.”
The email appears to have originated from an address associated with officialproudboys.com, a defunct website that was taken down when the group was dropped by their webhost.
“If these emails did originate from the Proud Boys, it would amount to a grave attack on democracy by one of the most prominent hate groups in the country with the goal of helping secure Donald Trump’s re-election,” explained Smith. “This moment calls for all of us to stand tall in the face of hate, denounce these attempts at intimidation, and demand justice for those trying to exercise the most fundamental right in our country.”
Voter intimidation is a growing concern. Miami Police are disciplining an armed, uniformed officer photographed at a polling place wearing a pro-Trump face mask.
In St. Petersburg, police dispersed a group of Trump supporters who set up in parking spots reserved for early voters and blared loud music.
Equality Florida is the largest civil rights organization dedicated to securing full equality for Florida’s LGBTQ community. Through education, grassroots organizing, coalition building, and lobbying, we are changing Florida so that no one suffers harassment or discrimination on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity. www.equalityflorida.org