Calling it an “extraordinary election,” Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer urged law enforcement and prosecutors nationwide Friday to ensure that voters are not harassed or intimidated when they go to the polls next month.
“Here in Los Angeles, we need to be vigilant and ensure that every single person feels free to vote the way they intend to vote …,” the city attorney said as part of a national briefing by Prosecutors Against Gun Violence and the organization Everytown for Gun Safety on the threat of voter intimidation.
“I don’t have specific concerns about Los Angeles that meaningfully distinguish us from other jurisdictions. I, however, as all of us on this call are very concerned that the reports of potential for intimidation be squelched at the inception by our preventative work at the beginning,” the city attorney said.
He noted that he has been in touch with Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore, whom he said is “extremely well-versed on the details of this,” and that they are collaborating with state elections officials and California’s secretary of state.
“… This is an extraordinary election this year, we all know it. … I’ve been eligible to vote for 40 years. I have never seen — ever — any hint of a federal authority encouraging in any manner anything other than a free, fair expression of voters’ views and, post-election, an easy and lawful and peaceful transferral of power,” the city attorney said. “We know that those issues are the backdrop here. But we, as prosecutors, as law enforcement officials, have both the obligation and the ability to assure that if a polling place is within our jurisdictions there is not a hint of voter harassment or intimidation by weapon or otherwise.”
He noted that the panel “made it very clear we have many tools that we can invoke to assure the elections are in fact free and fair,” including a plan by Bernalillo County District Attorney Raul Torrez in Albuquerque, New Mexico, to have prosecutors available “in the moment” to collaborate with law enforcement and other colleagues on voter intimidation and harassment issues.
“All of us throughout the nation should be adopting approaches that make clear what the rules are so that everyone knows that harassment is completely off-limits at a polling place,” Feuer said.
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