Democrats fell short in three U.S. states on Monday in their legal battle to impose tighter restrictions on supporters of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump who plan to monitor Election Day voting for signs of fraud.
The U.S. Supreme Court refused to reimpose new rules on partisan poll watchers in Ohio after an appeals court struck them down, while U.S. judges in Pennsylvania and North Carolina declined Democrats’ request to impose new rules that Democrats had sought.
Voter intimidation is prohibited under U.S. law, but Democrats worry that Trump’s warnings of a “rigged” election in his battle against Democrat Hillary Clinton might inspire supporters to harass minority voters and create Election Day chaos in big cities as they search for signs of vote manipulation.
Numerous studies have found that U.S. voter fraud is exceedingly rare.
Democrats have asked U.S. courts in six battleground states to impose greater restrictions on partisan poll watchers, arguing that the Trump campaign, state Republican parties and Republican operative Roger Stone are encouraging supporters to intimidate minority voters.