Donald Trump’s complaints about a “rigged” election are quickly becoming self-fulfilling prophecies.
The GOP presidential nominee has repeatedly called for his supporters to watch polling places throughout the election and intimidate voters. His supporters are doing just that. Some groups have vowed to conduct fake “exit polls,” videotape voters and use fake identity badges to pose as voting officials. One supporter told it like it is, just like his hero Trump does, and revealed to The Boston Globe who he’d be looking for at the polls: “Well, it’s called racial profiling. Mexicans. Syrians. People who can’t speak American.”
Trump has complained ― prior to a single ballot being cast ― that the election is “rigged” and told his voter base to be wary voter fraud. His supporters are doing just that. A Trump supporter in Iowa was arrested this week for casting two ballots in the general election, claiming fears over a “rigged” election. She’s one of three people suspected of voter fraud in Polk County, Iowa, though she was the only one arrested.
His running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R), has proclaimed voter fraud on his home turf. Now there appears to be just that. The Indiana Voter Registration Program boasts that it was able to sign up 40,000 new voters in the state ― many of them African-American ― until Republican leaders stepped in to claim voter fraud. Now State Police Superintendent Doug Carter is investigating an “unusually high number of date of birth and first name changes” among the new voters. Indiana Democrats claim the investigation itself is politically motivated. Police haven’t yet found evidence of real voter fraud among Democrats there.
Worry over a “rigged” election has run rampant among Trump’s voter base. But those constituents are one step behind Trump, who on Friday changed his tune completely after the FBI announced that it was reviewing new emails to determine whether they’re connected in any way to his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton.
“It might not be as rigged as I thought, right?” he said at a rally in New Hampshire after the news broke. “The FBI, I think they’re going to right the ship, folks.”
Once again, hysteria that Trump’s vitriol manufactured has led to crime or sketchy circumstances ― among his own supporters.