Donald Trump has made a series of claims over the last several days that call into question the fairness of the presidential election.
On Sunday, Trump posted on Twitter that he believed the results were being “rigged” in Hillary Clinton’s favor.
“The election is absolutely being rigged by the dishonest and distorted media pushing Crooked Hillary – but also at many polling places – SAD,” Trump posted on Twitter.
Trump also tweeted that the “Election is being rigged by the media, in a coordinated effort with the Clinton campaign, by putting stories that never happened into news!”
These comments have received plenty of reaction from Republicans and Democrats— leading many to wonder if he will accept the results of the election if he loses. It’s also caused some officials to worry that Trump’s rhetoric could cause unwanted behavior, or even violence at the polls on election day.
Chris Ashby, a Republican election lawyer told the New York Times that Trump was “destabilizing” the election by inciting his supporters to monitor the polls.
“That’s going to create a disturbance and, played out in polling places across the country, it has the potential to destabilize the election,” Ashby told the paper, “which is very, very dangerous.”
South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, who is a Republican, doesn’t believe any candidate should make these type of statements unless they are backed by evidence.
“I don’t think leading candidates for the presidency should undercut the process unless you have a really good reason,” Graham told Politico.
Jon A. Husted, secretary of state of Ohio, has also rejected Trump’s notion that the presidential election is “one big ugly lie.”
According to the New York Times, Husted, a Republican, said it was “wrong and engaging in irresponsible rhetoric” for any candidate to make such claims without evidence.
“We have made it easy to vote and hard to cheat,” Husted said. “We are going to run a good, clean election in Ohio, like we always do.”
During an interview Monday morning on CNN, Husted said, “Our institutions, like our election system, is one of the bedrocks of American democracy. We should not question it or the legitimacy of it.”
AshLee Strong, a spokeswoman for House Speaker Paul Ryan, came out against Trump’s unsubstantiated claims on Saturday.
“Our democracy relies on confidence in election results, and the speaker is fully confident the states will carry out this election with integrity,” she said in a statement.
Although Iowa Representative Steve King attempted to defend Trump’s accusations of a rigged election during an interview Monday morning on CNN, King did admit they were “partially unsubstantiated.”
“I wouldn’t say it’s completely unsubstantiated. Partially unsubstantiated, I would agree with that,” King said. “I would look back at the 2000 election and the fiasco in Florida and the 537 votes that decided the presidency and say that if Al Gore had not accepted the decision of the Supreme Court, we would have had discredited elections in this country back then.”
Other officials feel Trump’s attacks on the integrity of America’s voting system is unacceptable. Former Sen. Kit Bond, a Missouri Republican, feels Trump should show proof or put a lid on his claims.
“Somebody claiming in the election, ‘I was defrauded,’ that isn’t going to cut it,” Bond told Politico. “They’re going to have to say how, where, why, when.”
Republican strategist Mike Murphy also criticized the GOP nominee’s behavior on social media.
“Trump is now attacking our Democracy,” Murphy tweeted. “Any Elected R who doesn’t condemn this anti-American thug will carry a moral stain forever.”
Trey Grayson, a Republican, expressed a similar sentiment. The former secretary of state of Kentucky said it is “so irresponsible because what he’s doing really goes to the heart of our democracy.”
Grayson told the New York Times, “What is great about America is that we change our leaders at the ballot box, not by bullets.”
Arturo Vargas, who is the executive director of the National Association of Latino Elected Officials Education Fund, told the New York Times he has concerns over Trump’s comments causing voting disruptions.
“It is a major concern that we have this candidate promoting vigilante poll watching,” Vargas said.