Donald Trump Recruits Election Observers to Avoid a 'Rigged' Election

August 13th 2016

Thor Benson

Donald Trump must be really worried about the latest polls — which show him between 4 and 10 points behind Hillary Clinton — because he's taking some new steps in hopes of securing the White House. According to the Huffington Post, Trump's campaign has now decided to recruit election observers to make sure the election can't be rigged in November.

On his website, Trump has a page where people can sign up to become election observers. "Help Me Stop Crooked Hillary From Rigging This Election!" it says at the top.

trump rigged

What's an election observer?

An election observer is someone who goes to the polls on election day and keeps an eye out for anything suspicious. If you're an observer and see someone come back to the polls after already having voted, that'd be a red flag, and you can report it to election officials.

Trump had stated multiple times in the past couple weeks that he is worried the election might be rigged. At a Pennsylvania rally on Friday, Trump said that Clinton could only win the state if "cheating goes on." That's a pretty strange thing to say, since she's currently destroying him in the polls there.

Trump Election Observer

“Go down to certain areas to and watch and study and make sure other people don’t come in and vote five times,” Trump said at the Pennsylvania rally, encouraging voters to self-monitor polls.

Trump and other Republicans have often claimed that voter fraud is a major issue in the United States.

Many Republican-led states like Texas and Wisconsin have passed voter ID laws to allegedly avoid it. Many of those laws have now been struck down, because courts ruled they were actually created to suppress the minority vote.

"The law required in-person voters to show certain photo IDs, beginning in 2016, which African Americans disproportionately lacked, and eliminated or reduced registration and voting access tools that African Americans disproportionately used," the decision that recently overturned North Carolina's strict voter ID law explained.

It is legal in most states for politicians to have election observers, but it is not legal for those observers to intimidate voters.

But voter fraud doesn't really happen here.

According to a 2014 investigation by Justin Levitt, a professor at the Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, there were just 31 cases of voter fraud nationwide between 2000 and 2014, with over 1 billion votes cast during that time. Furthermore, a five-year investigation of voter fraud conducted by the Bush Administration found no evidence it was happening at any significant level.


Many nonprofits, like President Jimmy Carter's The Carter Center, send people to observe elections in countries where voter fraud is actually a problem such as Zimbabwe.

But right now, there isn't any evidence that Trump's concerns have a basis in the U.S., and it doesn't seem likely there will be anyone voting more than once in November.