'Army for Trump' phrase is metaphorical, according to campaign officials, yet causes concern for some

Do's and don'ts inside and outside polling places on Election Day
Posted at 11:25 AM, Oct 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-08 17:01:03-04

TAMPA, Fla. — It’s a hashtag that’s been trending on Twitter — the President calling for his supporters to enlist in an “Army for Trump.”

“This is definitely a new time and a new era for politics and for voting and for campaigning,” said local attorney Charles Gallagher.

Steve Cortes, the senior strategy advisor in Florida for the Trump Campaign, says the phrase is metaphorical.

“We want to be active, we want to organize, we want to join together in a coalition and we wanna persuade the American people to vote for us,” said Cortes.

In a tweet, the President encouraged supporters to sign up to be poll watchers and on his website, there are several ways to “enlist” in the fight for Trump.

"We are worried about cheating, that’s a real worry and I don’t think it’s conspiratorial, and one of the best ways to prevent that is to have informed citizens out there who can support us who are watching the polls,” Cortes said.

And while anyone can register to be a poll watcher, there are restrictions in place prohibiting poll watchers or election judges from campaigning for any one candidate while working at polling locations.

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“You’re not able to have folks wearing party or candidate T-shirts or clothing or whatever inside the actual polling places," Gallagher said, of volunteers.

Voters however can wear hats, shirts, pins, etc, that show support for a candidate.

But, in Florida, you can’t intimidate or campaign within 150 feet of a polling place.

“Whether it’s verbal, whether it’s holding up some signs in front of someone so they feel uncomfortable going into the polling place to make their votes to cast their vote,” Gallagher said.

It’s a crime, that carries felony charges. The Pasco County Supervisor of Elections says anyone who doesn’t sign up to be a poll watcher and shows up on behalf of a particular party will be asked to go outside of the “No Solicitation” sign. If they refuse, law enforcement will be dispatched.