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Trump Vows Maximum Criminal Penalties for Illegal Voters

© REUTERS / Leah Millis / U.S. President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally for U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) in Houston, Texas, U.S., October 22, 2018
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally for U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) in Houston, Texas, U.S., October 22, 2018 - Sputnik International
The upcoming vote is set to show whether the Republican Party will be able to retain control of both houses of Congress. Thus, American voters will also pass judgment on Donald Trump’s presidency.

On the eve of the 2018 midterm election, US President Donald Trump announced that law enforcement had been "notified to watch closely for any illegal voting."

"Law Enforcement has been strongly notified to watch closely for any ILLEGAL VOTING which may take place in Tuesday's Election (or Early Voting). Anyone caught will be subject to the Maximum Criminal Penalties allowed by law. Thank you!" the US President tweeted.

This is not the first time that the US president has spoken about illegal voters taking part in the country's elections. Soon after the 2016 presidential vote, he stated that he had won the popular vote on 8 November "if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally."

US Justice Department Deploys Polling Monitors in 19 States for Tuesday Midterm Elections

Meanwhile, the Department of Justice said in a press release on Monday that US voting right laws, which protect the ability of minorities and disabled Americans to cast ballots, will be the focus of monitors deployed throughout the United States.

"The [Justice Department] Civil Rights Division will monitor compliance with the federal voting rights laws by deploying personnel to 35 jurisdictions in 19 states," the release said.

The Civil Rights Division will gather information on whether voters are subject to different voting qualifications or procedures on the basis of race, color or membership in a language minority group; whether jurisdictions are complying with the language minority provisions of the Voting Rights Act and whether jurisdictions permit a voter to receive assistance from a person of his or her choice if the voter has a disability or is unable to read or write, the release explained.

READ MORE: US State of Georgia Breaks Early Voting Record for Midterms — Secretary of State

Monitors will also examine whether jurisdictions comply with the voter registration list requirements of the National Voter Registration Act as well as whether jurisdictions comply with the provisional ballot requirements of the Help America Vote Act, the release noted.

Why Midterm Election is So Important?

The election will take place on November 6. US voters will cast ballots to fill 435 seats in the US House of Representatives, one-third of the 100-member Senate and other local and state positions. The outcome of the vote will determine if the Republican Party can maintain control of both chambers of Congress.

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The elections are held midway through a US president's term (hence why they are called midterm) and are usually regarded as a referendum on the incumbent administration.

Speaking during a tele-town hall organized by Trump's re-election campaign Monday, the US president called the vote "referendum on him".

"Even though I'm not on the ballot, in a certain way I am on the ballot," Trump stated. "The press is very much considering it a referendum on me and us as a movement."

He went on stressing the importance of the upcoming vote.

"This is a very important election," Trump said. "I wouldn't say it's as important as '16, but it's right up there."

READ MORE: Barack Obama Slams Donald Trump's Policy Ahead of Midterms

Heading to the rally, the president underlined, speaking to reporters before boarding Air Force One, that he had never seen "such an enthusiastic Republican Party".

"The level of fervor, the level of fever is very strong in the Republican side," Trump said. "I have never seen such excitement. Maybe back in '16 during the presidential, right around the vote. But I have never seen such an enthusiastic Republican Party."

If the US Democratic Party wins a Senate majority, they would be able to block cabinet and Supreme Court appointments. If they win a House majority, they could significantly hinder the presidential administration's ability to implement its programs. Moreover, they could also begin impeachment proceedings against Trump.

READ MORE: How Silicon Valley Meddles in Midterms

However, Trump expressed his confidence in the Republican Party's positions ahead of the vote.

"I think we're going to do well in the House," he said. "But, as you know, my primary focus has been on the Senate, and I think we're doing really well in the Senate."

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