Over the weekend, Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump called on his supporters to independently monitor polling places on election day on a hunch that the election may be rigged.
"The only way we can loose, in my opinion, I really mean this, Pennsylvania, is if cheating goes on, I really believe it," Trump declared to a boisterous audience Friday. Recent polls from swing states such as Pennsylvania and Ohio show a lag in support for Trump. The candidate used vague language to finger specific precinct areas, citing, "I know what's happening here, folks. I know-- she can't beat what's happening here. The only way they can beat it, in my opinion and I mean this 100%, if in certain sections of the state, they cheat."
"That seems to be kind of a dog whistle or a code word urban areas like Philadelphia with large African American populations," UC Irvine law professor Richard Hansen told Take Two. "[Trump] has suggested that people could vote 5 or 10 or 15 times because the state does not have a strict voter identification law. It's in fact impossible to have some kind of multiple voting like this on any large scale. You'd have to have hundreds of thousands of people in on a conspiracy to try and swing a presidential election."
Trump's campaign website directs supporters to sign up to be "election observers" on the big day. "While we encourage campaigns to have observers because it helps keep the system honest, the line is between observation and intimidation," says Hasen. "We do have an unfortunate history in this country, especially in minority areas [of] people being intimidated..." He continues, "I'm concerned that by Trump encouraging his supporters to take matters into their own hands that he's trying to rig the election himself."
Trump spokeswoman Katrina Pierson recently stated Trump's concerns over election rigging are hypothetical because the election has yet to happen.