Days before the election–real or imagined–paranoia sets in on respective campaign camps struggling for every possible vote in a tight race.
The race for governor tight.
The race for Congress tight.
The race for U.S. Senate between Democrat Dick Blumenthal and Republican Linda McMahon is close enough that neither side is giving up or taking anything for granted. The McMahon campaign is looking at hiring off-duty Bridgeport police officers to work election day. Just what role they’d have is unclear. Under the guise of ensuring fair elections is this really voter intimidation? Depends on how they’re used. As official checkers to challenge voter registration? That could get dicey, especially in heavy minority precincts that vote Democrat.
Several sources, including the Bridgeport PD, say the McMahon campaign has inquired about the availability of off-duty cops. Are there enough to go around?
Democratic Registrar of Voters Sandy Ayala wants to make sure she first has enough uniformed police officers to cover most (if not all) of the city’s 25 voting precincts. She’ll not be happy if her request to cover voting precincts is thinned out because a campaign has hired off-duty cops. Uniformed police are generally assigned to the moderator for each precinct, especially in higher turnout cycles, to help keep the peace and escort and observe absentee ballot counts.
The McMahon campaign has plenty of dough to burn on election day to hire off-duty cops, plenty more than they’d be paid by the city. McMahon has already spent more than $40 million. Gee, will the cops wear WWE colors?
So over the next few days, as Barack prepares to campaign in Bridgeport on Saturday, there may be a lot of bellyaching over campaign street money and voter intimidation.
And one area you’re likely to see many uniformed city cops working overtime on election night is the Arena at Harbor Yard where WWE, the wrestling company of Linda McMahon and husband Vince, hosts a Smackdown. Interestingly, the show starts more than an hour before the polls close at 8 p.m. I wonder how many free tickets will flood city neighborhoods that day?
Gamesmanship? Or voter suppression?