Firm Chairman & Managing Partner Angelo J. Genova comments on poll watching, then and now, have been featured in a recent Vox article "What Poll Watchers Actually Do, and Trump's Troubling Rhetoric About Them, Explained."
From the article:
"Some concerns around poll watching don’t have to do with the people designated to be inside voting sites.
In 1982, the two sides settled, and the RNC entered into a consent decree that barred the committee from engaging in any ballot security measures that might deter qualified voters from voting.
In practice, this prevented the RNC from coordinating ballot security activities nationally; the consent decree could be enforced in court if any groups engaged in any such intimidation or harassment and the RNC was found to be behind it. It was extended in 1987 and again in 2009.
But at the start of 2018, the consent decree expired, despite Democrats’ attempts to extend it. Which means that, for the first time in decades, the RNC is not restrained by the limits of the consent decree, including getting prior approval for any poll-watching activities.
“The expiration of the consent decree looms large in this election,” Angelo J. Genova, chair and managing partner of Genova Burns and one of the attorneys who represented Democrats in the litigation, told me.
The expiration of the decree meant that an incredibly powerful check on potential voter suppression was now gone. “For decades, the consent decree effectively checked the RNC and its agents from engaging in purported ballot security measures whose purpose or effect was to suppress minority voters from exercising their right to vote. This consent decree was made for this moment,” Genova said, “a moment one would think was long gone.”
Click here to read the full article.