Election 2020

How Will the Media React to LeBron James Asking for 10,000 Volunteer Poll Workers?

(AP Photo/Chuck Burton, File)

Donald Trump urged his supporters during the debate Monday night “to go into the polls and watch very carefully.” Trump has urged volunteers in the past to show up at polls on Election Day and every time he has, the media has wet its pants.

Some of those volunteers showed up at an early voting site in Fairfax, Va., and, predictably, the media had a cow.

NPR:

Voters were not blocked from voting at the site, but some said they felt intimidated by people who waved campaign signs and shouted, “Four more years.” This followed the arrival of a noisy caravan of Trump supporters on motorcycles in a nearby parking lot.

The incident led Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring, a Democrat, to issue an opinion noting that there are federal and state laws prohibiting voter intimidation.

“Voting is a fundamental right. It is the foundation of our democracy, and no Virginian should ever feel for their safety or feel intimidated when they exercise their right to vote,” he said.

“Intimidated”? This was probably a case of a reporter asking a couple of early voters whether they felt “intimidated” by the display of support for Trump. I doubt very much whether any voters volunteered that they were “intimidated.” It’s an old trick of reporters to quote something they themselves suggested.

Indeed, there were no laws broken. And unless you’re a Democratic snowflake, being intimidated by partisan displays would make you afraid of your own shadow.

So the media gets in a collective snit when Trump suggests poll watchers. What about a Democratic partisan calling for 10,000 volunteers to actually work in precincts where the voting will happen?

NBA superstar LeBron James is calling for thousands of young people to work at polls on Election Day. What’s the difference between Trump and James? Simple answer: James isn’t Trump.

The Hill:

The effort has amassed 10,000 volunteers for “We Got Next,” a collaboration with the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, The New York Times reported Wednesday.

The collaboration will be highlighted during the NBA Finals between the Miami Heat and the Lakers.

More Than a Vote told the Times the second phase of the group’s push would be aimed at 11 cities “where significant poll worker shortages remain” amid the coronavirus pandemic, including southern Black voter hubs such as Birmingham, Ala.; Jackson, Miss.; Houston and San Antonio.

The media is portraying Trump’s call for volunteers as an effort to intimidate voters. There are precincts on the south side of Chicago where Republicans don’t even bother showing up to watch the polls because of the intimidation by Democrats. That largely goes unreported. Not surprisingly, the Democrats get 90 percent or more of the vote on the south side and 70 percent city-wide. Real voter intimidation is never covered in Chicago, or anywhere else.

In Philadelphia in 2008, members of the New Black Panther Party stood outside a polling place and brandished clubs in an obvious effort to intimidate voters. Many white voters decided not to vote. Obama’s Justice Department allowed a few months to pass before dropping all the charges. But it’s doubtful that any Trump supporters will be that obvious. They will obey the rule that says no “electioneering” within 40 feet of a polling place. Biden supporters will probably scream “intimidation” anyway, even when they’re not intimidated.

What about LeBron James’ cadre of you “poll workers”? They’re Democrats, so they get a free pass.