Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has been raising hackles for weeks about a “stolen” election, and on Wednesday morning, in a suburban public library in northern Virginia, more than two dozen Republicans heeded his call. The group had signed up for a “poll watcher training” class through the local Republican Party. They were mostly retirees, all white, except for one woman from India. Many said they appreciated Mr. Trump’s dire predictions of election fraud in defiance of a number of GOP leaders and elected officials who say he is undermining voter confidence. Experts say fraud, particularly impersonating voters, is scarce, and Mr. Trump has offered no evidence for his claims. “Very clearly there is going to be massive voter fraud, and it will definitely be to ensure Hillary Clinton wins,” said Penny Hendrix, a 52-year-old stay-at-home mom in Fairfax Station. “I’ve been concerned about this for some time, and Trump bringing it up is raising awareness.”
The leader of the class was 68-year-old Republican activist Reagan George. He works as a part-time management consultant, but his full-time passion is rooting out voter fraud through a group he founded called the Virginia Voters Alliance.
“You’ve got to use common sense,” he told the group. “If you think the voter is a Democrat, that’s not a reason to halt the process or challenge the voter.”
Yet Mr. George described a variety of potential voting improprieties that he said are orchestrated by liberal groups: People taking pictures of themselves with their ballots so they can be rewarded for their Democratic votes by a union leader or public housing staffer. Ex-felons who have not gotten their rights restored demanding access to the polls. Union and civil rights leaders coercing severely disabled people into voting.