Trump Claims Presidential Election Will Be Rigged If He Loses

If Trump Losses, Election Will Be Rigged

Republicans in many states have made unfounded claims of voter fraud as an excuse to introduce voter ID laws. Courts in several states have ruled they are unconstitutional and aimed at suppressing the vote of minorities. Trump claims the rejection of these laws will cause widespread voter fraud, leading to a rigged presidential election. He hasn’t yet explained how his latest conspiracy theory will play out.

These conspiracy theories require the willingness to suspend reality. How can 50 states, many with Republicans running the election process, rig the election? Why wasn’t it done during the last two presidential elections if it is easy to do? Every independent study has shown that the amount of voter fraud in US elections is negligible. An average of reliable polls where all demographic data are reasonably accurate, though not perfect. Rigged elections are not feasible and yet another dangerous attack on our democracy. Free and fair elections are the corner stone of any democratic form of government.

Sean Hannity did not let facts get in the way of helping Trump put out his conspiracy theory on Fox “News.” Hannity informed Trump that some precincts in Philadelphia did not cast a single vote for Romney in 2012. The insinuation being that the vote was obviously rigged in those precincts. What he did not mention was that in several precincts in Utah, and several other red states, Obama did not receive a single vote. Then again, no one has ever accused Hannity of being an ethical journalist or of putting country before party. This is the same guy who praised white supremacists as they pointed their rifles at federal agents on the Bundy ranch.

While ours is not a true democracy, but a representative constitutional republic, it is those differences that give us additional protection. It allows for a presidential candidate to win without the majority of votes, but it offers protection from vote rigging as there are 50 separate state elections. Although it does allow for an unelected electoral college to overturn the will of the people, it offers protection for minorities from the will of the people, through the Constitution. There are many valid arguments that the system is not perfect, but no validity for calling it rigged.

Rigged systems produce the same result over and over against. They require a continuity in power that our two-term restriction on presidents does not allow for. Rarely has the same party been able to win a third term in the White House after the incumbent president’s two terms have expired. States with unlimited terms for their governor could have a continuation of power that would allow for state organized vote rigging, but it would have little effect in a general election as it could only happen in a state that was already strongly Democrat or Republican, since only two states allot their electoral college votes proportionally.

While there are no valid concerns about voter fraud or vote rigging, there are some real concerns with the strength of our voting process. Politicians tell us how we are the greatest democracy in the world. We really aren’t a democracy at all. Both parties admitted that reality this year, in response to criticisms of their party-run nomination processes. We are fail when it comes to the most important pillar of democracy, voter participation.

As other countries actively incentivize voter participation, one of our political parties actively tries to suppress the vote. Only 53% of eligible voters cast a ballot in the US in 2012, the worst in the developed world. Twenty-six countries, have automatic voter registration when citizens turn 18. Many have mandatory voting laws with fines for not voting, including Sweden, Turkey and Australia. In those countries over 90% of eligible voters take part in elections. Studies have shown that those requirements make their populations more politically aware and informed. If taxes are mandatory, why shouldn’t voting be?

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