12:16 GMT27 February 2020
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    As Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump continues his claim that the US election will be rigged, the candidate’s statements appear to be having an effect on the electorate.

    Conducted among nearly 2,000 registered voters, a new poll from Politico/Morning Consult shows a staggering lack of faith in America’s democratic process. Roughly 41 percent of those polled said they believed the election could be "stolen" from the Republican nominee.

    Perhaps unsurprisingly, this belief changes dramatically based on party affiliation. While 73 percent of Republicans believe the process to be rigged, only 17 percent of Democrats agreed.

    "The results show that voters are increasingly losing confidence that votes around the country will be counted accurately on Election Day," said Kyle Dropp, cofounder of Morning Consult, according to Politico.

    "The sentiment especially rings true among Trump supporters, with half expressing their belief in a 'rigged election.'"

    Trump has made repeated claims that the election will be rigged, urging supporters to monitor polling stations. For many, his language is a none-too-subtle call for voter intimidation, especially in minority communities.

    "These tactics really aren’t new, either. It’s maybe new for a politician, especially a presidential candidate, to be so explicit about what they’re calling for, but 'ballot security groups' that go and try to intimidate voters are not new," Danielle Lang, of the Campaign Legal Center, told Radio Sputnik’s Unanimous Dissent.

    "It borders on criminal behavior," she said.

    At the same time, the US Department of Justice will cut the number of official observers for this election.

    "It is important to note that [the government] will still be doing a federal monitoring program. That monitoring program is based on permission from the states, but my understanding is that many states do give that permission," Lang said.

    "So there still will be a presence on the ground, it will just be different, and of course in an election where there’s been such heightened anxiety, this is a poor confluence of events, and it’s discouraging."

    Lang points out that if people really are concerned about the legitimacy of the election, there are legal steps they can take to ensure votes are cast accurately.

    "It’s really important to have educated poll workers. I think this is an understated way that citizens can participate," Lang said. "Poll workers are desperately needed. They are our gatekeepers."


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