President Donald Trump raised a few eyebrows and sparked a fresh wave of discussion after he urged his supporters to volunteer as "Trump Election Poll Watchers" for the upcoming 2020 presidential election. The president issued the call on Thursday, directing his supporters to sign up for the service.
According to the website, Trump poll watchers "will assist Team Trump and grassroots operations across the country" as Americans take to the polls on Nov. 3. These poll watchers’ primary focus will be "on Getting Out the Vote (GOTV) to ensure any voters who did not vote early vote on election day." These volunteers "may be involved in other Election Day activities such as precinct coverage." A dropdown menu gives volunteers a choice of how to participate, including "I want to fight for Trump by…," "Become a Trump Team Leader," and "Make calls on Trump Talk," among several others.
The call for these "poll watchers" comes just two months after the Trump campaign and the Republican National Committee began recruiting an estimated 50,000 volunteers to act as poll watchers, marking the GOP's first national poll-patrol operation in nearly 40 years, according to NBC News. It also comes just weeks after he expressed a desire to "have sheriffs" and "law enforcement" as poll watchers amid his unfounded fears of voter fraud.
As NBC News reports, poll watching isn’t an unusual activity, and it is something that both parties partake in. However, some voting rights advocates have expressed concerns over the president’s moves, particularly the desire to involve law enforcement. Trump’s most recent call for poll watchers, however, gained its fair share of criticism, too.
This is voter intimidation!!— Lara (@DPWIMM) September 3, 2020
Great. They can watch me walk in and vote for Joe, then watch me walk away and flip them off. pic.twitter.com/JJ6j9vX2TS— ✨TexasTrinity ✨ (@TheTexasTrinity) September 3, 2020
This is harassment, intimidation, & incitement
You just DON’T VALUE those who die, so long as your ego is satisfied...you just CANNOT STAND losingSeptember 3, 2020
What the fuck is this? Poll 'watcher'?? And all the language on the page is army related, 'enlist' 'fight' 'Trump's army'. Is this just an ad for thugs and proud boys to gather, intimidate and cause folks to be afraid to vote? https://t.co/MZ89HDfcrE— Darren Hayes (@darrenhayes) September 4, 2020
Yes Donald, many will fight to see that your reelection bid fails so that America does become great again, the way it was before you showed up to drag it down.— Michael Proia (@MikeJoPro) September 4, 2020
Trump is no longer running a presidential campaign, he is doing everything he can to suppress the vote. https://t.co/1GiCueWjxY— Christopher Bouzy (@cbouzy) September 4, 2020
Is Trump and his crazy cult going to turn polling places into battle zones? https://t.co/ODmOMXtpNm— Todd Poirier (@todd_poirier) September 3, 2020
I will volunteer to watch you LOSE!!!!— bruce-bannor2008-2018 (@bannor2008) September 4, 2020
Not even in my worst day!— Patricia Martin (@pmartinoutlook) September 4, 2020
I’m busy— N. (@NoeeNoah) September 4, 2020
I signed up! To do just that! I’m volunteering to watch /monitoring the dishonesty of the trump campaign!— iwcandy2 (@iwcandy2) September 4, 2020