President Trump said Tuesday at the first presidential debate that he wants his supporters to patrol polling locations on Election Day to make sure there’s no funny business going on.
Moderator Chris Wallace asked Mr. Trump and Joseph R. Biden if they would urge their supporters to remain peaceful if it takes a bit of time to count all the ballots.
“I’m urging my supporters to go into the polls and watch very carefully because that’s what has to happen,” the president said.
“I hope it’s going to be a fair election. If it’s a fair election, I am a hundred percent on board,” Mr. Trump said. “But if I see tens of thousands of ballots being manipulated, I can’t go along with that.”
Mr. Trump said there are already way too many issues with expanded vote-by-mail efforts during the coronavirus pandemic.
Mr. Biden said he would urge his supporters to remain calm while the votes are being certified.
“Count the ballots,” Mr. Biden said. “Some of these ballots in some states can’t even be opened until Election Day.”
The Trump campaign and national Republicans have sued in at least a handful of states over new voting rules.
Mr. Trump has directed particular fire at Nevada and the state’s Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak, who the president has repeatedly called a “clubhouse governor.”
The president has tried to distinguish between expansive new laws under which voters are automatically mailed ballots and absentee ballots, where people typically have to provide a valid reason why they can’t make it to the polls on Election Day.