‘ARMY FOR TRUMP’ GEARS UP POLL WATCHING OPERATION
Republicans are mobilizing thousands of volunteers to watch early voting sites and ballot drop boxes leading up to November’s election, part of an effort to find evidence to back up President Donald Trump’s unsubstantiated complaints about widespread voter fraud, Jarrett Renshaw and Joseph Tanfani reported for Reuters.
Across key battleground states such as Pennsylvania, Florida and Wisconsin, Republican poll watchers will be searching for irregularities, especially with regard to mail-in ballots whose use is surging amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to more than 20 officials involved in the effort. They declined to say how many volunteers have signed up so far; the campaign earlier this year said its goal was to recruit 50,000 monitors nationwide. At least 4 million Americans have already case their ballots.
The mission, the officials said, is to capture photos and videos Republicans can use to support so-far unfounded claims that mail voting is riddled with chicanery, and to help their case if legal disputes erupt over the results of the Nov. 3 contest between Republican incumbent Trump and his Democratic opponent Joe Biden.
The campaign is already posting material of activity it claims is suspicious, including video of a Trump campaign observer being turned away from an early voting site in Philadelphia last month. The city says monitors are welcome in polling stations on Election Day but are not permitted in early voting facilities.