“I don’t think there was any way to need or feel intimidated in any form,” Mr. Rastatter mentioned. He added that county officers requested the group on a number of cases to again away from the curb, and that the group complied.
Bryan Graham, the chairman of the Fairfax County Democrats who was additionally on the polling heart, noticed it in a different way, writing on Twitter that “the Republicans are straight-up attempting to intimidate voters at the government center.”
In an interview, Mr. Graham mentioned he’d “never seen or heard of anything like this happening before.”
“I was there when the county executive was there and I saw him walk multiple people through the crowd because they didn’t feel safe,” Mr. Graham mentioned. “I don’t think it’s appropriate. We shouldn’t be doing things to make people feel unsafe.”
Steve Descano, the county legal professional, didn’t immediately handle the demonstration in an announcement posted to Facebook on Saturday, however mentioned that he was “instructing my office to pursue cases of voter intimidation that may occur.”
Virginia election legislation states that it’s unlawful to “hinder or delay a qualified voter in entering or leaving a polling place,” and that it is usually prohibited to carry out any form of political advocacy inside 40 ft of any entrance to a polling place.
Videos of the demonstrators shortly went viral on social media, and present them gathering exterior the doorway, holding up Trump marketing campaign indicators and chanting as voters walked previous them.
Some election rights teams mentioned that the Trump group may need nonetheless crossed a authorized line.
“In Virginia, the safe zone around the polling location is only 40 feet, but that safe zone is for campaigning and trying to change a person’s vote,” mentioned Sylvia Albert, director of voting and elections at Common Cause, a voting rights group. “Outside of that, in general, there are laws against intimidation. So I would say that even if they have a right to campaign, which they absolutely do, they do not have a right to interfere with someone’s right to vote or to intimidate them.”