“What I Learned From Training to Be a Right-Wing Poll Watcher; Rule No. 1: Don’t let the Democrats slip you laxatives.”

Great dispatch from Slate’s Jeremy Stahl who trained as a “True the Vote” poll watcher:

Alan Vera, ballot security chairman for Texas’ Harris County GOP, wants prospective poll watchers to keep an eye on their coffee.

“Here’s a tip that I almost hate to have to tell you, but: Do not accept coffee from the election judge or any of the clerks,” he warns early in a training video for volunteer poll watchers. “We’ve had too many instances in the past where laxatives have been hidden inside coffee and our poll watchers end up spending the day in the restroom instead of in the polls watching what’s going on.”

This first rule of poll watching speaks to the bigger lesson I learned from sitting through hours of conservative poll watching training videos over the past several weeks: These programs are more about instilling paranoia in the Republican Party faithful than about actually teaching them to successfully suppress votes.

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