Is there REALLY voter suppression in Payette County?
Our members (and those that otherwise follow us) know a concrete fact about our Organization: we are always there to evaluate and address any potential constitutional flashpoints. Therefore, when we received a call-to-action communication about a voter suppression effort in Payette County we immediately sought to either validate its accuracy and take appropriate action or invalidate the claim and inform the public with transparency.
The details of the claim are that security guards, stationed at the Payette County Courthouse, were turning people away from exercising their Right to vote because they were not wearing a mask. Furthermore, the organization People’s Rights posted an article on their website that included three videos as evidence. In brief, they contain the following:
- The first video shows a sympathetic security guard, who is informing a male and a female recording him that the rules are to wear a mask inside the courthouse. The security guard goes to get a supervisor when asked.
- The second video shows a female asking a Payette City official where she can file voter suppression complaints and is informed that the proper channel would be the Secretary of State.
- The third video shows a call between Ammon Bundy and Payette County Clerk Lindsey Bratcher. Mr. Bundy inquires and is informed that nobody should be turned away at the polls due to any mask requirements. The call seems to conclude to Mr. Bundy’s satisfaction but the video ends with an ominous message that the following day more people were turned away from voting due to lack of masks.
Per our investigation we are now able to confirm the following:
- We spoke with Sheriff Chad Huff on Friday and he indicated that he had no knowledge of anyone being turned away from voting at any time.
- The individuals in the videos were able to vote without a mask requirement after speaking with Captain Toby Hauntz. After their complaint, Capt. Haunzt and County Clerk Bratcher rescinded any orders regarding masks for voters so that there is no further miscommunication.
- Our sources, including State Representative Judy Boyle, a County Commissioner, and the Payette County Sheriff’s Department have all confirmed that all eligible voters will be able to cast a ballot with no mask requirement.
- When we had a discussion with Ammon Bundy he claimed that he was not in charge of People’s Rights due to a non-hierarchical structure and he is simply an influencer. Any decision for action is set forth by his Area Leads.
The outcome of our investigation is that no voter suppression is taking place in Payette County. We understand that the People’s Rights group, citing no further evidence as proof of such claims, is still organizing a demonstration at the Payette County Courthouse on Monday, Nov. 2nd. We believe their action to be misguided at best and a distraction from other important issues that are affecting our local communities.
People’s Rights, since inception, has failed to look at the factual aspects of situations and has pushed their members to take time out of their day to fight perceived injustices. While they have not listened to us in the past, we must still caution them that they are once again calling for a demonstration for no reason. Their point of view appears (either intentionally or unintentionally) to be rather limited. People’s Rights members that show up to such event will be advancing misinformation. Especially right now, with potentially the most volatile election in our nation’s history approximately 48 hours away, such gaslighting is quite dangerous.
We call on People’s Rights to suspend their plans of a demonstration in Payette County. We call on Ammon Bundy to be forthright with his own organization about the facts. Once again, if our investigation had uncovered anything that could be remotely construed as voter suppression we would have issued a response of our own. Yet nothing was found other than a County serving its residents.
If such voter suppression events were to ever occur, we ask our own members to document and record while always remaining polite and professional.
While People’s Rights fails to maintain a process where such serious accusations are investigated and cleared up, we do not have any such problems. We remain committed to expose everything to the public so they can continue to trust us. As such, our membership knows that if we ever called upon them to act, we did so only after careful study of all available evidence.
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