- AOC said the US is experiencing fascism and voter intimidation that mimics the Jim Crow era.
- As the midterms approached, Rep. Ocasio-Cortez said Americans must “strongly defend” US democracy.
- Federal officials warned that threats of violence could increase due to “perceptions of voter fraud.”
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said the US is experiencing “an environment of fascism” as some states have concerns about voter intimidation over early voting.
Ocasio-Cortez’s comments on Friday come as a federal judge ruled it is acceptable for activists to watch ballot boxes after reports of armed and masked individuals monitoring a ballot in Mesa, Arizona last week.
“We really, really are facing an environment of fascism in the United States of America. That kind of election intimidation brings us to Jim Crow,” Ocasio-Cortez said Friday on MSNBC’s All in with Chris Hayes, speaking with Hayes and Rep. Jamie Raskin.
“It brings us back and reminds us of a very unique form of American apartheid that wasn’t that long ago and that we’ve never fully healed from,” she added. “These wounds threaten to reopen if we don’t vigorously defend democracy in the United States.”
On Friday, federal officials with the Department of Homeland Security, the FBI, the U.S. Capitol Police and the National Counterterrorism Center warned that the midterm elections are likely to result in an increase in threats, although officials did not list specific threats, according to CNN.
“After the 2022 midterm elections, perceptions of election-related fraud and dissatisfaction with the election results will likely lead to increased threats of violence against a wide range of targets — such as ideological opponents and poll workers,” the federal officials’ bulletin said. per CNN.
Ocasio-Cortez echoed the sentiment on MSNBC, citing her experience hearing testimony while on the Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Liberties of the House Oversight and Reform Committee.
“There is absolutely no doubt that the data shows that the vast majority of cases of domestic terror stem from white nationalism,” Ocasio-Cortez said, acknowledging that “political violence can come from all parts of the political spectrum.”
In Arizona, two nonprofits filed a lawsuit arguing that a group called Clean Elections USA encouraged violence and intimidation after the group organized efforts to monitor ballot boxes across the country to prevent voter fraud and repeated similar claims , which were widely circulated but hugely disproved after the 2020 election, according to The New York Times.
Judge Michael T. Liburdi argued that while “many voters are rightly alarmed by observers filming near dropboxes,” there was no evidence the group encouraged violence, according to the Times. However, the judge chose to leave the case open and agreed to hear new evidence.
Speaking on MSNBC, Rep. Raskin, alongside Ocasio-Cortez, said it was imperative that voters “show no fear.”
“You have to look at the guy showing up in cammo clothes and masks as part of this story as an attempt to discourage people from voting,” Raskin said. “In this election, it’s really critical that every voter understands all of the different ways they can vote in their state and that they vote and don’t show fear.”