On the surface, the group appeared to be just another political action committee seeking to energize Republicans and independents. Founded by Bonnie Johnson, an elected Republican State Committee member and the regional director for Mr. Brown’s “Women for Brown” coalition, the group pledged to do all it could to increase voter participation…
Perhaps energizing voters was too tall a reach for the group, because now it appears it has taken the voter-suppression route.
In training poll workers and poll observers this summer, Ms. Johnson noted on an Activate Worcester webpage that the reasons for her outreach was because Worcester had recently registered at least 3,000 new voters who were welfare recipients and that a local community group was pushing to elect two extreme-left candidates.
The group has also moved to de-legitimize the city’s Election Commission by providing its own poll-worker training sessions and by infiltrating the city-paid poll worker staff.
Although the city trains its poll workers every year, several of these poll workers chose this year to also undergo poll training given by Activate Worcester.
Mr. Rushford said he has told these Activate Worcester-trained workers that if they weren’t going to follow the city’s guidelines, they should not take the job.
Mayor Joe Petty and other city councilors made it quite clear Monday that they will not allow Worcester residents to be intimidated at the polls.
“No way under my watch this is going to happen,” Mr. Petty said.
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