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Reactions to Republicans Posting Guards at the Polls

November 20, 1988

To vote, or not to vote? That was the question Orange County voters faced Nov. 8. That question became difficult in the 72nd Assembly District when the Orange County Republican Party sent uniformed security guards to 20 Santa Ana precincts to intimidate Hispanic voters. This action was taken supposedly to discourage non-citizens from attempting to vote. In reality, this was a carefully planned effort to discourage the large number of newly registered Hispanic Democrats from voting.

As a registered Republican, even I am amazed at how bold our leaders have become. Our elective process is founded on the principle that the voter not be intimidated at the ballot box. Yet, the Orange County Republican Party obviously does not feel that this right applies to all voters.

Not since the 1960s have such tactics been used. They were unjust then, and they are outrageously unjust now.

In the past 25 years our society has grown beyond the narrow-minded bigotry that is evident in leadership of the Orange County Republican Party. The actions are not only clear violations of election laws but also may have swayed the results in the 72nd Assembly District race. This race was decided in favor of Republican candidate Curt Pringle, by less than 700 votes.

Is it justifiable for an Assembly district to be represented by a candidate elected in this manner? We must keep in mind that the Pringle campaign was the contact point for the security guards, obviously in control of this operation.

If anyone doubts the obvious intimidation created by these actions, answer the following question: When you went to the polls on Tuesday, at that time could you prove that you are a citizen?


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