Donald Trump has urged his supporters to show up at the polls to keep an eye out for voter fraud in what he charges is an attempt to rig the election against him, but not many are taking him up on it, The New York Times reports.
"Voter fraud is all too common, and then they criticize us for saying that," Trump told a Colorado Springs, Colorado, rally on Tuesday. "But take a look at Philadelphia, what’s been going on, take a look at Chicago, take a look at St. Louis. Take a look at some of these cities, where you see things happening that are horrendous."
Trump tweeted on Sunday that the media is working to rig the election against him and that "many polling places" are as well.
Critics on the left worry Trump's call could bring about vote challenges based on race. The Times cited a rally last week with a mostly-white crowd in Pennsylvania where Trump said, "I hear these horror shows and we have to make sure that this election is not stolen from us and is not taken away from us. And everybody knows what I'm talking about."
The Associated Press reported on Monday that a Loyola Law School professor's study found instances of in-person voter fraud to be very rare, with only 31 known cases out of a billion votes in the United States between 2000 and 2014.
Most states require anyone who wants to be a poll watcher to register, but no significant influx of such requests have been reported, according to the Times.
But Democrat Lisa M. Deeley, a member of Philadelphia's voting board, told the Times she worries Trump's rhetoric could spur another phenomenon: Trump supporters showing up at polling sites and jeering voters.
"It's one thing for any candidate to say, 'I need volunteers, come out and support my campaign,'" Deeley said. "But when a candidate is saying, 'I need your help because they're cheating,' it changes the game."
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