Behold, the cries of a man who is losing:
“The election is absolutely being rigged by the dishonest and distorted media pushing Crooked Hillary – but also at many polling places – SAD,” tweeted Donald Trump, whose campaign’s chief executive officer is the former manager of Breitbart, a notoriously skewed conservative website.
The only sad thing going on here is how wrong Donald Trump is.
The amount of fear-mongering over nothing, and the possible consequences of nothing, is extraordinary.
The Brennan Center for Justice found that voter fraud rates range between 0.00004 and 0.00009 percent- i.e. virtually non-existent. A Columbia University study found that the fraud that does occur can generally be attributed to false claims, mischief, and human error. Arizona State University’s 2016 study found zero prosecutions in five states where voter fraud was claimed to be rampant. Meanwhile, a 2014 Washington Post study found that out of 1 billion ballots cast, there were only 31 credible instances of impersonation from 2000 to 2014.
But let’s say there was some large scale rigging going on. It would not be some coordinated Democratic conspiracy—it would be one among Republicans. The chief elections officers of most battleground states, according to the Los Angeles Times, are in fact Republicans. The governors of most states in general are also Republicans.
I can assure you, they have absolutely no interest in electing Hillary Clinton.
The probability of such a conspiracy, however, is absolutely laughable. Elections are a remarkably decentralized process done county by county within each state. It’s a large bunch, with at least one county guaranteed to have a messed up vote or two. There isn’t some single federal election, as Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) remarked in a recent Senate debate.
“We have 67 counties in this state, each of which conduct their own elections,” Rubio said. “I promise you there is not a 67 county conspiracy to rig this election.”
What is more likely, however, is voter intimidation on the part of Trump supporters.
“I hope you people can sort of not just vote on the 8th, go around and look and watch other polling places, and make sure that it’s 100 percent fine,” Trump said back in August, where he also said it could be necessary to call up law enforcement.
You can even sign up on Donald Trump’s website to be an election observer if you want to help him “Stop Crooked Hillary From Rigging This Election!”
As NPR reported just this week, poll workers are bracing for the worst in wake of a recent firebombing on a Republican Party headquarters North Carolina and two armed men patrolling a Democratic campaign office in Virginia. Matt Masterson of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission says that the tone of the current election might be leading to renewed attention on voting place emergencies. Denver, for example, has added active shooter training into election judge training.
Now, you wonder, a Trump supporter couldn’t possibly do something violent, could they? Well, 41 percent of voters think that the election could be stolen from Donald Trump. One profile of a Cincinnati rally for Trump done by the Boston Globe found that a common sentiment among Trump voters is that the United States will not be the United States anymore- that their very country is in danger- if Trump is not elected.
One voter said they would engage in what’s called “racial profiling” on Syrians, Hispanics and others to “make them a little bit nervous.” Another Trump supporter was even supportive of a coup should Clinton win.
This falls in line with a long string of violence occurring at Trump rallies or in Trump’s name. Two Boston Trump supporters beat and urinated on a homeless Hispanic man; a man verbally harassed a black man, using racial slurs, and then assaulted two Muslim college students; an African-American protester was sucker-punched at a rally; Latino protesters have also been attacked. These are just a few examples and they exclude multiple instances of verbal harassment documented by the New York Times and other organizations.
One Long Islander on a pro-Hillary Facebook group expressed she was actually nervous to vote, since she was surrounded by Trump supporters. “I have to say, I am terrified of voting. I changed my name and profile picture on Facebook,” she said. “I can’t put a sign on my lawn or a bumper sticker on my car for fear of being hurt. Am I alone in feeling this way?”
We luckily live in a system where your vote is confidential (unless you broadcast it). There’s also the option of mailing in your vote. Frankly though, I don’t think she is alone. My parents won’t put a sign on their lawn, despite their strong support for Hillary Clinton. I personally feel nervous to post anything anti-Trump because I don’t want to provoke arguments with family or be called a terrible person. I will not put any political sticker on my car.
Hillary Clinton earning votes is not “rigging” as Donald Trump claims, nor is reporting on the stupid things that he has said and done. Quite frankly, the only ones that’re rigging the election are Trump and some of his more vehement supporters desperate to elect their pseudo-messiah.