Trump And Clinton Build Legal Armies For Possibility Of A Contested Election

Just last week we wrote about the seemingly desperate move of the democrats to file a lawsuit against the RNC alleging that its efforts to "ensure ballot integrity" were nothing more than another alt-right attempt to "intimidate minority voters" (see "Desperate? - Democrats Sue RNC Over Trump's "Rigged Election" Comments Alleging 'Minority Voter Intimidation'"). 

In a move that wreaks of desperation, and certainly beneath a campaign that is apparently coasting toward a 12-point blowout victory in just over a week, the DNC has sued the RNC over efforts to "ensure ballot integrity" alleging "intimidation of minority voters."  Since when did working with "secretaries of states all over the country to ensure ballot integrity" become a crime?  And, why exactly are democrats so fearful of any measure that attempts to ensure the integrity of our federal elections?  Is it because such efforts to "ensure ballot integrity" might just prevent the massive voter fraud that we all know exists?  Just a guess.

Ironically, Trump and the RNC aren't the only ones ramping up efforts to oversee polling stations around the country.  As Bloomberg points out, team Hillary is also "assembling a voter protection program that has drawn thousands of lawyers" and is readying "election observers" that will be deployed to a number of swing states.  We're not legal experts but that certainly sounds like the democrats are preparing to do the same thing that they just sued republicans for doing.  Though none of this is terribly shocking given that we're in the midst of the most bizarre election in U.S. history.

Clinton is assembling a voter protection program that has drawn thousands of lawyers agreeing to lend their time and expertise in battleground states, though the campaign isn’t saying exactly how many or where. It is readying election observers in Florida, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Ohio, New Hampshire, Iowa, Nevada and Arizona to assess any concerns -- including the potential for voter intimidation -- and to verify normal procedures.

 

The Republican National Lawyers Association, which trains attorneys in battleground states and in local jurisdictions where races are expected to be close, aims to assemble 1,000 lawyers ready to monitor polls and possibly challenge election results across the country. Hedge fund manager Robert Mercer, one of Trump’s biggest backers, has sunk $500,000 into the group, its biggest donation in at least four presidential elections, Internal Revenue Service filings show.

 

“We are fighting for open, fair and honest elections,’’ the association’s Executive Director Michael Thielen said in an e-mail.

Of course, Trump has made quite clear his views that the election is being rigged by everything from voting fraud to a corrupt media that's in the tank for Hillary.  And, with numerous reports of dead voters popping up around the country and WikiLeaks emails revealing mass media collusion with the Clinton campaign, many voters are starting to see that he has a point.

 

Meanwhile, the Trump campaign has been recruiting "election observers" on their website for months now calling on supporters to "help me stop Crooked Hillary from rigging this election."

Trump Election Observer

 

But, as Bloomberg points out, each state has varying statutory provisions governing partisan election observers that may limit each party's efforts to oversee polling stations.

Trump has been encouraging people at his rallies to “go out and watch’’ at polling places as part of his contention that the election could be “rigged,’’ despite the lack of any evidence of widespread voter impersonation. He also has a sign-up page on his website for volunteers to be election observers to “help me stop Crooked Hillary Clinton from rigging this election.’’

 

Almost all states have statutory provisions for partisan election observers, and at least 35 states and the District of Columbia allow nonpartisan citizen observers, according to NCSL. Rules and provisions for who can be observers and what they are allowed to do at the polls vary by state, but federal and state laws prohibit discriminating against or intimidating voters, according to the Brennan Center for Justice.

But who knows if any of this will actually be necessary.  While polls suggest a tight race, the only thing we can say with relative certainty is that pollsters have never encountered a race like this and are, therefore, almost certainly very wrong about their assorted predictions.