In recent days, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has been warning that the upcoming election is rigged and some of the public appears to believe his claims.
A poll of 2,000 registered voters in Massachusetts found that 41 percent believe that the election could be stolen from Trump.
At Trump’s Massachusetts headquarters in Hudson, volunteers have been gathering names of supporters who will be willing to help out on Election Day.
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But this time around, with concerns about voter fraud on the rise nationwide, they’re preparing for everything.
“People who might want to sit down behind the people who are at the desk when somebody comes in and they can watch and they can listen to see who’s voting,” said volunteer Bill McCarthy.
That includes cameras and watchful eyes inside the polling precincts.
“You just want to have people vigilant, watching, keeping an eye on things so that, you have cameras, you have people watching,” McCarthy said.
Over the weekend, Trump hammered home the message that there could be voter fraud and perpetuated allegations that the election is fixed in speeches in both Portsmouth, New Hampshire and in Bangor, Maine.
“The election is being rigged,” said Trump in a Saturday campaign stop. “This is a rigged system folks, but we’re not going to let it happen.”
But a Loyola Law School Study of voting nationwide from 2000 to 2014 found only 31 credible incidents of voter fraud out of roughly one billion ballots cast.
“Well the rhetoric raises conspiracy theories of all kinds,” said Massachusetts Secretary of State, Bill Galvin.
Galvin says avoiding voter fraud is one reason the Bay State has not gone to electronic balloting.
He says while voters’ so-called “zone of privacy” will be fiercely protected in the voting booths and signs of support for candidates will be kept the requisite 150 feet from polling locations, the state will allow people to monitor the voting process.
“We insist on the process being as open as possible,” said Galvin. “So we allow candidates to have observers during the day, they can’t interfere with the voting but they can watch exactly how things are happening.”
And for the first time ever, Galvin says his office will be doing post-election audits of random precincts, counting ballots by hand to double check the ballot box counters.
As a reminder, registration to vote in this election ends on Wednesday, October 19, and for the first time early voting will be taking place throughout the state starting Monday, October 24.