When election time rolls around, many people begin to express their opinions about the various individuals running for public office. As an American, you have the right to use your voice to talk about the issues or discuss your opinion. However, what you say and do could be used against you if you are not careful.
Voter intimidation is a little-known federal crime. It happens when a person or a group of people try to sway voters or stop them from exercising their constitutional right to vote. Voter intimidation charges may occur by convincing people that they may not vote if:
- The voter does not speak English
- The voter cannot present photo identification (Michigan requires an ID but you can still vote by signing an affidavit)
- The voter cannot provide proof of citizenship
- The voter is a previously convicted felon (released felons have the right to vote in the state of Michigan)
If federal authorities decide that you intentionally attempted to interfere with the voting rights of your fellow Americans, you can expect an investigation. In many cases, these investigations can show that you did not commit a federal crime, but it is always wise to protect yourself against such allegations formally.
The political environment of the 21st century so far is fraught with controversy and extremely aggressive opinions. It is an ideal environment in which someone may accuse you of this crime to try and give their chosen candidates an advantage. An attorney experienced with federal crimes can help you avoid the consequences that come with a conviction on charges of voter intimidation.