Donald Trump is now recruiting “Trump Election Observers” to combat what he has called a “rigged” election.
A link on his page — that directs participants to donate — rewards registrants with an email that promises to “do everything we are legally allowed to do to stop crooked Hillary from rigging this election.”
The call to action comes less than 24 hours after Trump said Democratic rival Hillary Clinton couldn’t win in Pennsylvania unless she cheats and just days after he began inserting voter identification riffs heavily into his stump speech.
“She can't beat what's happening here,” the Republican presidential nominee told the crowd in Altoona on Friday night. "The only way they can beat it, in my opinion, and I mean this 100 percent, if in certain sections of the state they cheat, OK?”
Moments earlier, Trump suggested having law enforcement and "everybody watching" to ensure that he isn’t “cheated out of this election” and the “vital state” of Pennsylvania.
Trump is not the first to deploy election observers. In 2008, then-Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama enlisted "Election Observers" in Pennsylvania to ensure that voters cast their ballots “simply, fairy, and without intimidation.”
Obama and running mate Joe Biden provided a manual that listed do’s and do not’s for observers. That sort of guidance has not yet been given by the Trump campaign, which is early on in the recruitment process.
Each state has different laws on what’s allowed at their polling places. However, campaigning by either party at polling locations is prohibited under voter intimidation laws.
Earlier in the week, Trump also sounded the voter identification alarm in North Carolina, a state whose controversial voter ID law was recently struck down in a federal appeals court, which found the legislation intentionally discriminated against African-Americans when it was passed.
The law had reduced the opportunity for early voting as well as same-day registration and excluded certain IDs as acceptable documents to be shown at polling places.
In Wilmington, Trump was critical: “Voter ID — what’s with that?” He also asked why voting wasn’t “here’s my identification, I wanna vote. As opposed to somebody coming up and voting 15 times for Hillary.”
He denied advocating that strategy for his supporters.
“I will not tell you to vote 15 times. I will not tell you to do that, OK?” Trump told a fired-up crowd. “You won’t vote 15 times, but people will. They’ll vote many times.”