By Mark Sumner
Wednesday Oct 19, 2016 · 10:56 AM EDT
One of the biggest reasons that Donald Trump constantly harps on the idea of a stolen election is that it provides an excuse—an excuse to send out “observers” to polling places, where they can loom over voters and make sure everyone is voting the right way.
Warning darkly of a stolen election, Donald J. Trump has called on supporters to turn out in droves on Election Day to monitor polling places, telling them they need to be vigilant against widespread voter fraud and a rigged outcome.
“Voter fraud is all too common, and then they criticize us for saying that,” he said at a rally Tuesday in Colorado Springs.
Voter fraud is rare. Exceedingly rare. So rare that it’s estimated at 31 votes out of a billion. However, that doesn’t fit Trump’s narrative. By playing up a factor that simply doesn’t happen, Trump has the excuse he needs to send out supporters dressed in red to intimidate voters. And he has some examples of where they might go.
“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.”