Trump Says US Will Have Law Enforcement at Polls to Prevent Fraud

August 21, 2020 Updated: August 24, 2020

President Donald Trump said in passing remarks in an interview on Thursday that he intends to send law enforcement officers, and “hopefully U.S. attorneys” to help monitor the polling stations to prevent voter fraud during the November elections.

In an interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity late Thursday, Trump was asked, “Are you going to have poll-watchers, are you going to have an ability to monitor to avoid fraud and cross-check whether or not these are registered voters, whether or not there’s been identification to know it’s a real vote from a real American?”

“We’re going to have everything, we’re going to have sheriffs, and we’re going to have law enforcement. And we’re going to have hopefully U.S. attorneys, and we’re going to have everybody, and attorney generals,” Trump said, without expanding on how what he said would be carried out.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Matthews said in a statement to The Epoch Times, “All Americans deserve an election system that is fair and balanced and President Trump is highlighting that Democrats’ plan for universal mail-out voting would lead to fraud.

“Their attempts to impose a new voting system without the proper guardrails in a hurried fashion ahead of November are reckless.”

The president continued expressing his concerns to Hannity regarding the potential difficulty of ensuring the validity of votes in a universal mail-in voting situation, mentioning Nevada “where they don’t even have to check the signatures so anybody can sign it” and New Jersey, where the governor had recently signed an executive order that “didn’t even go through the legislature” to send ballots to all active registered voters in the state.

“Nobody’s ever heard of anything like this,” he added. “So they’re going to be sending out 51 million ballots to people, they have no idea, why it’s coming, who it’s going to.” The president alleged that “unfortunately they may have a very good idea—the people sending them,” hypothesizing that “they may send them to all Democrat areas, not to Republican areas as an example. Could be the other way too, but I doubt it.”

Trump has repeatedly expressed his concern that universal mail-in ballots could lead to a surge in fraud.

He has also repeatedly made a distinction between universal mail-in voting and absentee voting.

“Absentee is great. It’s been working for a long time, like in Florida. Absentee—you request, and it comes in, and then you send it back. Absentee is great, but universal is going to be a disaster, the likes of which our country has never seen,” he said earlier this week. “It’ll end up being a rigged election, or they will never come out with an outcome. They’ll have to do it again. And nobody wants that, and I don’t want that.”

Trump said on Aug. 16 that “the problem with the mail-in voting, number one, you’re never going to know when the election is over.” He gave an example of the recent Democratic congressional primary election in New York where he said that the race should not have yet been called (pdf) for incumbent Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.). Her challenger, Suraj Patel, has refused to concede following the Board of Elections’ declaration that Maloney was the winner.

“I think you should redo that election. The opponent is screaming. They can’t believe it. Ballots are lost. Ballots are defrauded. It’s a total mess. And they called it for her. The reason is because I’ve been using it as a case. I’ve been using it as a case,” he alleged at the time, adding, “The ballots are lost. There’s fraud. There’s theft. It’s happening all over the place.”

Reuters contributed to this report.

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