July 2, 2020 / 1:19 AM / a month ago

Biden pulls together hundreds of lawyers as a bulwark against election trickery

FILE PHOTO: Democratic U.S. presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden thrusts his fist while answering questions from reporters during a campaign event in Wilmington, Delaware, U.S., June 30, 2020. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

(Reuters) - Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden said on Wednesday that his party has assembled a group of 600 lawyers and thousands of other people to prepare for possible “chicanery” ahead of November’s election.

“We put together 600 lawyers and a group of people throughout the country who are going into every single state to try to figure out whether chicanery is likely to take place,” Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee, said on a video conference with donors to his campaign.

“We have over 10,000 people signed up to volunteer. We’re in the process of getting into the states in question to train them to be in a polling place,” he said, in a time when the coronavirus pandemic requires extra precautions.

Biden’s remarks come as the candidate offers dire warnings about efforts by Republicans to cheat in the Nov. 3 election while also criticizing his election opponent, Republican President Donald Trump, for undermining confidence in the vote.

A senior political adviser and top lawyer for Trump’s campaign, Justin Clark, said Biden is lying and stoking fear while Democrats are trying to “fundamentally change” how elections are conducted, an apparent reference to their support for widespread mail-in voting. Republicans have argued that mail-in voting and other changes being suggested by Democrats in the midst of the pandemic could create fraud.

“They are inserting chaos and confusion into our voting process because it is the only way they can win,” Clark said in a statement, adding that the president is committed to “fair and free elections.”

Biden has previously said that his single greatest concern is Trump’s trying to “steal” the victory.

Election experts have been on edge about the process given chaos and legal challenges during primary elections held amid the viral outbreak.

Reporting by Trevor Hunnicutt in New York; Editing by Leslie Adler

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