Politico: Trump calls for poll watchers. Election officials call for calm.

Politico: Trump calls for poll watchers. Election officials call for calm.

Sylvia Albert, director of voting and elections at Common Cause, also noted that fears over mass voter intimidation efforts in past years have not materialized, even when Trump urged supporters to go to the polls in 2016. “He likes the chaos, he wants to create chaos, because he thinks it benefits him,” Albert said. ‘We don't want to give him what he wants, which is fear and intimidation and chaos.”

President Donald Trump’s calls for his supporters to patrol polling places are thrusting a dilemma onto election administrators: They want to protect voters from intimidation, but they also don’t want to depress turnout by amplifying Trump’s plans.

Trump continued his long-running campaign to delegitimize the election results during Tuesday’s debate, calling it a “disaster” in the making, raising unfounded claims of widespread fraud and telling supporters to “go in” and “watch very carefully.” Already, Trump supporters have attempted to monitor or even interrupt early voting in several places, including on Tuesday in Philadelphia. Election staff there said law enforcement escorted a Trump campaign staffer out of a satellite election office in City Hall, because he was not allowed to be there to watch people request or turn in mail ballots in person.

Local officials in Philadelphia and voting rights advocates uniformly condemned Trump’s plans and said they appear likely to disproportionately target voters of color. But they also stressed that voters should remain engaged in the election and not allow uproar around poll-watching to affect them. …