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West Palm Beach Trump Supporters Use Bullhorns, Scream at Clinton Supporters Outside Poll

Supporters of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump continue to gather in front of the West Palm Beach, Florida, supervisor of elections’ office and shout at Hillary Clinton supporters and voters through bullhorns as they use the early voting location, videos show.

"How many Syrian refugees, Muslim refugees, are you taking into your home?" yelled one Trump supporter in a video filmed Sunday afternoon at Clinton supporters across a parking lot. Later she said, "You hypocrites! Separate the people! Over here we have the LGBT, over here we have the blacks, and then over here we have the Hispanics. But I'm going to tell you something, the hard working American people that served in the armed forces support Donald Trump!"

Therese Barbera, spokeswoman for the Palm Beach County Sheriff's office, said by email that the sheriff's office "was not aware" of the incidents in the videos until Electionland called for a statement but that "from what we reviewed we do not believe there are any violations occurring."

“As far as voter intimidation, we did not observe any infractions in the video," she added. "Please remember that there are First Amendment privileges being afforded here as long as they don’t violate the law."

The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, which fields complaints about elections, received a call last Wednesday afternoon about Trump supporters breaching the 100-foot electioneering line mandated by Florida law, and using a bullhorn to scream at voters at the elections headquarters in West Palm Beach.

Christopher Moore, who voted at this location on that day, said the Trump supporters were “behaving like soccer hooligans.”

“They would run 10 or 15 feet past the clearly marked electioneering line, as if they were trying to test it,” he said, adding that he could hear them shouting at individual voters in line and could hear the bullhorn inside the polling location. Multiple people in line complained about their behavior, he added.

“I’ve been living in Palm Beach County and voting in Palm Beach County for 12 years, and this is the first time I’ve seen this sort of overt attempts at voter intimidation,” he said.

On Friday, Susan Bucher, the Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections, said the sheriff’s office sent deputies to the scene who moved the Trump supporters behind the electioneering line. Since then, she said, there have been no problems. She described the behavior as “typical campaigning."

But Electionland has received multiple videos and complaints from voters and volunteers at the supervisor of elections office since then showing similar behavior. Bucher has not responded to multiple emails for comment on these videos.

Officials with the local Republican Party also have not responded to a request for comment. We'll update this post if they do.

The videos were sent to Electionland by Paula Ryan, a local city commissioner who supports Hillary Clinton. She said the same group of Trump supporters have been outside the polling location every day she has been there, and that complaints to the non-emergency police number have not been effective. Supporters who called the sheriff's office on Sunday were put on hold and could not complain, she said. Barbera said she would have her communications supervisor look into Ryan’s allegations.

In the video below, a Trump supporter stands in a median in front of the Supervisor of Elections office on Military Trail on Sunday, shouting at cars through a bullhorn. Barbera said this was "a violation of law and patrol deputies will monitor, educate and enforce if necessary. "

The Trump supporter complains that Syrian refugees - whom she calls "criminal aliens" - will destroy a "Christian country."

In a video from Thursday, one Trump supporter uses a bullhorn while others stand along the street with signs. The supporter accuses Clinton of "unleashing ISIS across the world."

About Electionland

ProPublica’s Electionland project covers problems that prevent eligible voters from casting their ballots during the 2020 elections. Our coalition of newsrooms around the country are investigating issues related to voter registration, pandemic-related changes to voting, the shift to vote-by-mail, cybersecurity, voter education, misinformation, and more.

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