An "alt-right" white supremacist group says it plans to hand out liquor and marijuana in Philadelphia as a way to suppress minority voting, and claims to have secretly set up surveillance cameras in some polling places in the city, according to a report.
Politico's Ben Schreckinger wrote that neo-Nazi leader Andrew Anglin claims to have partnered with the alt-right site TheRightStuff.biz to monitor polling places and intimidate voters in Philadelphia and elsewhere on Election Day. The group says it plans to accomplish its goal Tuesday through handing out "40s and weed" in "the ghettos in Philly," according to an email sent to Politico.
District Attorney Seth Williams said Wednesday that his office was gearing up to prevent voter fraud or intimidation.
"The coverage of this upcoming election is unlike anything we have seen before, not to mention the fact that one of the nominees for president has been making false allegations about the integrity of Philadelphia's elections for weeks now, but we are ready," Williams said at a news conference.
Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center said Anglin and TheRightStuff.biz are "serial exaggerators," so it is difficult to determine to what degree their apparent plans are being implemented. Those plans, Potok added, could likely backfire.
"If, on the morning of Election Day, it turns out that we have white supremacists standing around looking threatening at polling places, I think it would arouse anger," Potok told Politico. "People would vote just to prove they're not being intimidated by these radical racists."
Anglin, the editor of the neo-Nazi publication Daily Stormer, told Poltico he plans on "sending an army of alt-right nationalists to watch the polls" on Election Day. TheRightStuff's anonymous spokesman, meanwhile, said that the site has hidden surveillance cameras at some polling places around the city.
"We also will have stationary cameras hidden at polling locations in Philadelphia, to monitor anyone that comes in to vote and make sure that the same people are not voting at multiple locations," the RightStuff spokesperson wrote in an email to Politico. "If we see people voting in multiple locations the footage will be submitted to the FEC as well as put out on social media."
TheRightStuff spokesperson also added that in regards to the surveillance cameras, "pretty much any official-looking white person with a clipboard can gain access" to a polling place to install one. As a result, theRightStuff claims that "we already have a few set up."