According to the USA Today/Suffolk poll, which found Trump trailing Democrat Hillary Clinton by nine points, two out of three Trump supporters said they thought the election’s results would be manipulated rather than be accurate. Trump supporters were also more likely to say that if he lost, it would be due to corruption and therefore the outcome would not be legitimate.
As authorities warily get ready for the bitter campaign to give way to (most) voters casting ballots, some election officials have been raising concerns about the presence of guns in polling places amid such fraught emotions. Election officers in Virginia say they are worried about conflicts at voting locations due to Trump’s comments, and some had considered one-day bans on weapons on private property, though a state lawmaker pushed back against that.
Cameron G. Sasnett, the registrar for Fairfax County, told The Post that while the issue of possible violence was “on the radar” of his office, “we have full faith and trust that [gun owners] will control those weapons in a manner that is consistent with state law.”
In Colorado, a state that has seen some of the country’s deadliest mass shootings, election officials say they are training poll workers how to respond to such violence if it erupts that day. Pennsylvania has noted that voters legally allowed to carry guns cannot be stopped from bringing them into polling places, though they say local officials should contact the police if someone appears to be trying to intimidate other voters.
Some schools with polling locations have also decided to cancel classes, and a few of these have said they did so to protect the safety of their students. Earlier this year, authorities in Fairfax County opted to keep students home during the presidential primary in Virginia, in part because officials said they were worried about Trump voters being angry over a state GOP pledge that was later dropped. Corey A. Stewart, the Trump campaign’s former state co-chairman, called that suggestion a “ridiculous” effort to “impugn the reputation of Trump supporters and of Trump himself.”
With the election less than two weeks away, there is also other uncertainty surrounding the voting process — including how, exactly, many people will be able to vote. A number of battleground states are still fighting over voting laws, and questions remain about whether voters have been adequately informed about the changing and complex rules they may have to follow to cast their ballots.