Trump Urges Supporters To Be 'Poll Watchers' Causing Potential Intimidation Concerns

Sep 30, 2020

During the first presidential debate in Cleveland, President Donald Trump urged his supporters to go to voting locations and "watch very carefully." The comment was made during a discussion on the election results. But voter advocates are making it clear that only people with a special designation can actually go into polling locations with voters.

The only groups allowed within 100 feet of a polling location are voters, poll workers, law enforcement, and credentialed media. 

According to the Ohio Association of Election Officials, observers from political parties and issue campaigns are also allowed if they receive a special designation from the board of elections. However, they cannot interact with voters or attempt to interfere.  

Jen Miller with the League of Women Voters Ohio says this is to prevent intimidation.  

"Having just members of the general public intermingled into the polling location could create chaos and confusion for poll workers and voters alike," says Miller. 

It's unclear if Trump was asking his supporters to breach the 100 foot barrier. His campaign could not be reached for comment.