He United States’s president and candidate for reelection, Donald Trump, first he preemptively denounced electoral fraud, then he promised to send “sheriffs and security forces” to the voting centers and, now, his campaign recruits and trains 50,000 volunteers to form an “army of observers” that “fight” alongside the president. in the November 3 elections.
The warmongering rhetoric, the versions that some of the volunteer observers are retired members of the security forces and the recent examples of followers of the president who responded – many armed – to his call to “impose law and order” in the face of protests and caused deaths and injuries, are fueling the fear of an election day marked by tension and fear.
Of the 50 states, only six – and the capital – explicitly prohibit bringing weapons to a voting center, while another four do not allow weapons to be hidden, they must be visible. The rest do not place restrictions on tenure, except that they are schools.
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“One of the biggest concerns of election observation is whether it leads, intentionally or not, to intimidate voters,” said Sean Morales-Doyle, the deputy director for Voter Rights and Election Programs at the Brennan Center for Justice.
“An ‘army’ does not sound like people who are there just to observe. An ‘army’ sounds like people are there to fight a war against an enemy,” he added in dialogue with the ABC news channel.
According to David Levine, an expert at the Alliance to Ensure Democracy, a bipartisan initiative, the vote-by-mail, which Trump questioned and that fired this urgency by tens of thousands of observers, “is a safe process.”
In a column published on The Hill portal, Amber McReynold, CEO of the National Vote at Home Institute, and Charles Stewart, director of the MIT University Electoral Science and Data Laboratory, recalled that in the last 20 years, more than 250 million of ballots were issued by mail, with only 143 convictions linked to fraud.
In 2016 alone, when Trump won, about a quarter of the votes were cast that way.
“It is difficult for me to find examples of how to commit massive fraud with the vote by mail. Nothing is impossible, but I see it very unlikely,” explained Levine, a former official and electoral observer.
Despite this being the widely held view of election security specialists, Democrats also began recruiting thousands of observers, in what a Western Michigan University Political Science professor John Clark described this week in the press as “an arms race”.
The fear of possible attacks or intimidation at the polls on election day already permeates the spaces of American power.
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