Retired Minnesota police officers asked to be Trump poll watchers in 'rough neighborhoods'

Posted 29 days ago


A volunteer attorney for the Trump 2020 campaign is asking the Minneapolis Police Federation to gather retired officers to help watch polling places in "rough neighborhoods."

William Willingham sent an email to Minneapolis Police Federation President Lt. Bob Kroll on Wednesday, asking him to recruit 20 to 30 former officers to serve as poll challengers and act as the campaign's "eyes and ears in the field," as The Star Tribune first reported, but State Secretary Steve Simon told Fox News that the email appeared to be in conflict with Minnesota law.

"Every major political party gets to designate one [poll challenger] per polling place," he said. "If a retired police officer wants to be a challenger, they have to get ... a political party to designate them."

He explained that under Minnesota law, the Minnesota Republican Party or a county Republican Party group would have to designate one poll challenger to represent a specific polling place and that the Trump campaign itself cannot do that.

"It’s an opportunity for me to say what the law is," he said.

Both the Trump and Biden campaigns have been assembling thousands of volunteer poll observers and attorneys ahead of Election Day, according to Politico.

"Mr. Willingham is a volunteer who has been assisting in Minnesota,"  Trump campaign Deputy National Press Secretary Thea McDonald said in a statement to Fox News. "Neither the Trump Campaign nor the RNC instructed him to send this email. Even so, retired police officers are members of their communities, and as such are well within their rights to participate and volunteer as rule-abiding poll watchers."

She continued: "The media’s breathless obsession with the Trump Campaign poll watchers is baffling, given that every campaign—including Joe Biden’s—recruits them, and they are key to election transparency and accountability."

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