The 2016 Presidential Election has been anything but boring. The United States watched as a woman won the nomination for one major party, a former reality TV star for the other, and the media frenzied over Russia’s alleged obstruction of the democratic process.
As Americans head to the polls on Tuesday, the Russia-Trump-Rigged Election story gets slightly more interesting. The Moscow Times reported that Russian media is paying very close attention to the U.S. elections and is helping Russians — who currently live in Russia — to report suspicious voting activity directly to the Trump campaign.
Russia has already had an unusual role in America’s race for the White House, and became central to the election when the Clinton camp claimed that Russian spies targeted the DNC, stealing and leaking thousands of emails to WikiLeaks.
The Russian government and media have not confirmed their alleged role in the U.S. Election. However, on November 8, state-backed Russian news is involving itself and its audience in the day’s events by offering viewers of Gazeta.ru a live election blog, as well as Donald Trump’s campaign hotline.
The outlet reportedly offered the information for its coverage so that Russians (living in Russia) who are following along could report polling violations directly to the Trump campaign — even though they aren’t actually present at polling places.
— Sean Guillory (@seansrussiablog) November 8, 2016
Trump has already made repeated calls in the last months of his campaign about necessary poll monitoring for voter fraud. He has suggested that the election will be rigged, and has refused to say whether he would accept the results of the election in the case that he loses.
The major problem with Trump’s rhetoric goes far beyond himself. If he won’t accept his loss as fair and takes to Twitter to express his discontent, that’s one thing.
However, Trump’s supporters have made calls for an armed revolt if their candidate loses. And perhaps that’s something that the Russian state is interested in exploiting.
But even as Russian media appears to be interested in America’s presidential election, most people are pretty disinterested.