Trump campaign announces 100,000 poll watchers and attorneys poised for election day

The Trump campaign has announced that they will have 100,000 poll watchers and attorneys ready to take action on election day as former president Donald Trump’s obsession with election security continues.

Mr Trump tried to overturn the 2020 election citing baseless allegations of fraud by Democrats, and he has made similarly evidence-free claims regarding what Democrats may do this November. Even in 2016, Mr Trump asserted that he only lost the popular vote to Hillary Clinton because of fraud.

The Trump Campaign and the Republican National Committee (RNC) said in a Friday statement that they would launch “the most extensive and monumental election integrity program in the nation’s history”.

Mr Trump said in a statement: “Having the right people to count the ballots is just as important as turning out voters on Election Day. Republicans are now working together to protect the vote and ensure a big win on November 5th!”

The RNC said the programme was designed by Chair Michael Whatley, Co-Chair Lara Trump and Chief Counsel Charlie Spies as well as the Trump campaign and that it’s intended to “have over 100,000 dedicated volunteers and attorneys deployed across every battleground state”.

Former President Donald Trump speaks with the media at his trial on Friday at Manhattan Criminal Court (AP)
Former President Donald Trump speaks with the media at his trial on Friday at Manhattan Criminal Court (AP)

“Whenever a ballot is being cast or counted, Republican poll watchers will be observing the process and reporting any irregularity,” the RNC said in its statement.

Trump supporters showed up to locations where votes were being counted in 2020, demanding that the counting stop, often in the false belief that mail-in ballots were fraudulent. Some election workers have faced death threats.

Recounts and audits in several states failed to find any wrongdoing. Mr Trump fired the leader of his election security agency days after it issued a statement saying that the 2020 election was one of the safest in history.

The latest announcement states that the RNC and the Trump campaign plan on overseeing machine testing, early voting, election day voting, mail ballot processing, and any post-election activity such as canvassing, audits and recounts.

Mr Spies said in a statement that they would take Democrats “to court if they don’t follow rules or try to change them at the last minute”.

Many Republicans were outraged at the expansion of mail-in voting in 2020 in the midst of the pandemic. Some Republican-led states passed laws restricting ballot access after the 2020 election.

“President Trump has said that the Republican victory in November needs to be too big to rig,” Mr Spies said.

In 2016, Mr Trump lost the popular vote by almost three million ballots, in 2020, he lost it by more than seven million. When asked by The Independent earlier this month if Mr Trump has any chance of winning the popular vote this year, former Republican strategist Rick Wilson said: “None whatsoever.”

Mr Whatley and Lara Trump were installed atop the RNC following the recent ouster of former RNC chair Ronna McDaniel.

In a statement on Friday, Ms Trump said: “Every ballot. Every precinct. Every processing centre. Every county. Every battleground state. We will be there.”