Trump camp monitors votes, mobilizes “corps” in democratic dominance district

Ahead of the US presidential election in November, the Republican Party is poised to mobilize large-scale applicants to monitor early voting stations and mail-voting boxes. President Trump has made unfounded claims that voter misconduct is widespread, and is trying to find evidence to support those claims.

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Republican vote watchers set out to search for fraud in fierce battle states such as Pennsylvania, Florida, and Wisconsin. Of particular note is the mail ballot, which is becoming more popular due to the outbreak of the new coronavirus infection. About 20 party leaders involved in this activity have revealed.

Executives haven’t said how many applicants have been accepted so far, but Mr. Trump’s camp has set a target of 50,000 nationwide early this year’s election campaign.

According to executives, the watchers’ mission is to take pictures and videos of fraud and use it as evidence to support Republican claims in the event of a court battle over the outcome of the presidential election.

The United States is under tension this year as armed civilian groups clash with protesters on the streets around the world. Under such circumstances, some are concerned that such surveillance may escalate skirmishes over voting.

Watching votes by both Republican and Democratic officials is a common practice in US elections since the 18th century. Various state laws and municipal rules apply.

But voting activists point out that this year’s Trump camp’s approach is very unusual. If it is unusual to focus on early voting, the focus is on gathering evidence of the unfounded claims of the president and his supporters that the Democratic Party is trying to “steal” elections with a bunch of bogus postal votes. It is also unusual to have one.

In a video posted on Twitter in September to recruit applicants for the “Trump Corps,” the president’s son, Donald Trump Jr., said the Democratic Party would “add millions of fraudulent ballots.” He made an unfounded claim that it was a plan.

Mr. Trump has repeatedly refused to promise to accept the November election results. At the presidential candidate debate on September 29, he urged supporters to “go to vote and watch carefully.”

The number of applicants for mail voting in the fierce battle state is significantly higher in the Democratic Party. In other words, in the situation before voting at the polling place, Vice President Biden is likely to take the lead.

Even in Florida, where Republicans have historically used mail balloting, there are about 2.5 million Democrats who have applied for mail balloting, more than the Republican Party’s about 1.7 million. In Pennsylvania, the number of Democratic applicants is over 1.5 million, about three times that of the Republican Party.

The Republican Party has indicated that it will monitor postal voting one by one. It plans to install a surveillance camera to capture the situation where one person posts multiple ballots.

Some states allow proxy postings that entrust posting to a third party, but several states, such as Pennsylvania, prohibit this. Pat Dion, the head of the Republican Party in Bucks County, Tong County, where political conflicts are fierce, supports the Republican Party’s efforts, saying that “it seems to be confused by the flood of watchers, surveillance cameras and lawyers nationwide.” ..

Democrats and voting activists argue that Mr. Trump is trying to suppress the vote rather than protect it.

“It’s an attempt to scare properly qualified voters and make them think they’re in danger when they go to vote,” said Milna Perez of the Brennan Center, a bipartisan voting group.

In addition, the Democratic Party argued that the activities of Mr. Trump’s camp were laying the groundwork for disagreeing with the results of the mail ballot if they lost. It refuses to accept the decision and may try to leave the decision to Congress or the court.

“Vote surveillance applicants for President Trump are trained to see that all rules apply fairly. If fraud is pointed out, Trump will be trained,” said Trump camp spokesman Shea McDonald. The camp will appeal to the court for enforcement of the law, “he said.

<Know the existence of the Republican Party>

It is the first time in about 40 years that the Republican National Committee has been elected to freely support such “voting security” activities without the permission of the federal court. In the past, in a New Jersey election, the Republican Party mobilized a team in a uniform labeled “Voting Security Task Force” in possession of a pistol to the residential area of ​​minority residents, followed by a 1982 consent decision. These activities were restricted.

However, the consent decision expired in 2018, and the Democratic Party’s proceedings for renewal were dismissed in federal court.

Wisconsin’s Republican officials, who won the 2016 presidential election by Mr. Trump, will deploy observer applicants in Democratic-dominated counties.

Pennsylvania, an important fierce battle state, is also expected to become a center of surveillance activities. If he couldn’t secure 20 electors in the state, Mr. Trump would be cut off from reelection.

According to an email sent by the Republican Party to its supporters, the party will monitor 11 postal ballot boxes for about 50 applicants over the next two weeks in Montgomery County, a suburb of Philadelphia. Perform virtual training several times.

An email read by Reuters said, “It’s extremely important to let voters know that Republicans are there and that fraud isn’t overlooked.”

The Democratic Party has also begun its own efforts to protect voters, but is taking more traditional approaches, such as mobilizing vote watchers and lawyers who officially register for election.

<Court struggle>

Election law in each region is designed with polling place voting in mind, according to election experts, and the explosive expansion of postal voting is likely to question the law.

Terry Madonna, a professor of political science at Franklin Marshall College, says there are no rules for watchers who try to enter the polling place before the deadline or stab voters trying to post ballots. “Everything is left to the discretion of the election manager. Actions agreed by the election manager are allowed. Given that, it is likely to lead to a large-scale court battle.”

In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, officials from the Trump camp who tried to enter the early voting station were repelled by the election authorities in late September, and the proceedings have already taken place. City officials have stated that election officials are not entitled to “surveillance” at early polling stations under state regulations. Mr. Trump’s camp has filed an immediate suit and is currently in dispute.

Source Reuters

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