A group affiliated with longtime Donald Trump ally Roger Stone planned a coordinated intimidation effort involving sending volunteers wearing fake ID badges to monitor polling stations and record video of voters, the Huffington Post reported Tuesday.
The website for Vote Protectors, Stone’s group, allowed volunteers to print and create an unlimited number of official-looking badges and provided instructions on how to upload livesteam videos of voters to the site.
Confronted about these unorthodox tactics by HuffPost reporter Christina Wilkie, Stone first said he knew “nothing about badges or videotaping” before claiming those proposals were added to the website without his approval.
“I have ordered them taken down. Bad idea, as is video taping. First I have heard of it. I am only interested in a valid, scientifically conducted exit poll,” he told HuffPost.
The badge and video sections of the site are no longer live, and instead redirect to a page calling on people to register as poll watchers.
According to HuffPost, the “exit poll” section of the Vote Protector site allowed anyone registered as a volunteer, even using fake names, to tally up as many votes as desired for Trump or other candidates at any time.
Stone told HuffPost that this effort was distinct from the exit poll he plans to conduct through his other group purportedly intended to prevent voter fraud, Stop the Steal. The latter group will require poll volunteers to sign a sworn affidavit attesting that the poll results they gathered were based on interviews with real voters, Stone said. The GOP operative told conspiracy theorist Alex Jones that the Trump campaign could use the affidavits to contest the results of the election.
The Republican nominee has assured his supporters that the election results will be “rigged” against him and urged them to “watch” the polls in neighborhoods with large African American populations.
Some of his supporters have told the press they interpret these comments as a call to make minority voters “nervous” on Election Day.