Republicans Mobilizing Up To 50,000 “Poll Watchers” Ahead Of Election
Republicans are mobilizing up to 50,000 “poll watchers” to keep an eye on early voting sites and ballot drop boxes in an effort to find evidence supporting President Trump’s baseless claims about voter fraud.
- Reuters reports that the volunteers will flood key battleground states like Pennsylvania, Florida and Wisconsin, watching in particularly for irregularities regarding mail-in ballots.
- Officials involved in the effort declined to say how many volunteers have signed up but said the goal is to capture photo and video evidence supporting the unfounded claim of widespread mail-in ballot fraud.
In a recruitment video posted on Twitter in September seeking volunteers for this “Army for Trump,” the president’s son, Donald Trump Jr., made the unfounded claim that Democrats plan to “add millions of fraudulent ballots” to rig the results. Trump repeatedly has refused to commit to accepting the outcome of November’s election. During the Sept. 29 presidential debate, he exhorted his supporters to “go into the polls and watch very carefully.” “Some voting-rights activists are concerned such encounters could escalate in a tense year that has seen armed militias face off against protestors in the nation’s streets.” (Reuters)
- Pat Dion, head of the Republican Party in Pennsylvania’s Bucks County, said of the effort (which he supports): “There’s going to be lots of watchers, lots of cameras and lots of attorneys all across the country. It’s going to be chaotic.”
- Democrats say the Trump campaign is setting the stage to challenge mail-in ballots if he loses in November, potentially tossing the election to Congress or the courts to decide.
- “Democrats, meanwhile, are launching their own voter-protection efforts. But theirs is a more traditional approach that includes registered poll watchers and an army of attorneys," Reuters noted.