Donald Trump Jr. said he wants to raise an “army” of his father’s supporters to watch over polling places on Election Day, prompting fears that this could lead to intimidation of voters.
The eldest son of Donald Trump joined his father in calling on backers to watch over polling places on November 3, releasing a campaign ad in which he asks for them to “defend your ballot.” As the Independent reported, Trump Jr. called on people to join what he called the “Army for Trump.”
“We need every able-bodied man and woman to join Army for Trump’s election security operation,” he said. “We need you to help us watch them.”
The report added that election analysts have raised concerns about unfounded claims from President Trump and many close to him that Democrats are planning to execute large-scale election fraud. He has taken aim at the idea of mail-in voting, claiming without evidence that it is subject to rampant fraud and corruption.
Trump also drew criticism this week by refusing to commit to a peaceful transfer of power if he loses in November, saying instead that “we want to get rid of the ballots and you’ll have a very peaceful – there won’t be a transfer” of power but instead a “continuation.”
These claims have long drawn pushback. As The Inquisitr reported, Twitter attached its first-ever fact-check label to a tweet from the president claiming that mail-in voting would be substantially fraudulent. The social media site instead linked to information with facts about this form of voting, noting that it was proven to be valid and safe.
The call for supporters to take to polling places to keep an eye out for potential fraud comes after a controversial incident in which crowds of Trump supporters gathered outside an early voting location in Virginia this week.
Officials said the members of the group, who waved signs in support of the president and led chants, left some feeling uncomfortable and prompted local leaders to take measures to get them safely inside to vote.
“Citizens coming into and leaving the building did have to go by them,” Gary Scott, the general registrar of Fairfax County, said in a statement, via the Seattle Times. “Those voters who were in line outside of the building were moved inside and we continued operations. Some voters, and elections staff, did feel intimidated by the crowd and we did provide escorts past the group. One of the escorts was the county executive.”