Users on TheDonald.win, a far-right message board known for troll campaigns, calls to violence, and extremism, have repeatedly promoted and seemingly participated in an effort from President Donald Trump’s campaign to have people monitor the polls during the 2020 election.
Trump -- who has repeatedly claimed without evidence that rampant voter fraud may occur in the 2020 election -- has urged his supporters to “go into the polls and watch very carefully.” His son Donald Trump Jr. posted a video in September urging people to join a group for poll watching called “Army for Trump,” and the Trump campaign has set up a site with that name. As the Election Integrity Project notes, the site “recruits volunteers for general Get Out the Vote (GOTV) activities but also asks if they have legal expertise and directs to a form where supporters can report alleged election incidents directly to the campaign.” The site also has a section titled “Election Day Team” which contains a recruitment form and tells people that volunteers may be called to get out the vote and for “precinct coverage.” Some voter rights groups have expressed concern that the effort could cause voter intimidation, though others have noted that even just the fear of the effort could depress turnout, independent of whether it actually happens.
Media Matters searched via Google for mentions of the specific URL on TheDonald.win that leads to the “Election Day Team” section and found more than 300 mentions. (A search for the URL that leads to the “Army for Trump” home page shows more than 800 mentions on TheDonald.win.) The mentions of the “Election Day Team” URL include a post that claims “Trump wants warriors.” People have also shared the URL in response to users calling on others to “secure your state’s voting methods” and writing that “if you are worried about voter fraud, DO SOMETHING.”
Additionally, there’s another URL with the language “defend your ballot” that links to that same section of the site. It has also been mentioned dozens of times on the forum, including in a comment in which a user claims to be “the eyes and ears on the ground,” and in comments about users reporting what they claimed was voter fraud in multiple states.
TheDonald.win and its previous iteration “r/The_Donald,” which was eventually banned by Reddit, have been repeatedly involved with spreading far-right misinformation, conspiracy theories, and far-right campaigns -- some of which were about elections and efforts to vote. The message board also has other ties to extremism, as users when it was on Reddit shared content from white nationalist figures and used it to promote the deadly 2017 “Unite The Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. The new version now helps host other extremist communities. Users have also used the forum to direct calls to violence against law enforcement and government officials, a behavior which originally got “r/The_Donald” quarantined by Reddit a year before its ban. And while users on TheDonald.win do not appear to be using the campaign effort to push for violence, their track record makes it potentially concerning.