Trump: November vote might be 'rigged'
Donald Trump told supporters yesterday that the GOP had better be careful, because the November election is going to be rigged.
He told Sean Hannity that the Democrats are going to try to "take it away from us."
As the Republican presidential nominee slipped in the first polls to be released after the Democratic National Convention, he took to questioning the integrity of the nation’s election system, first at an afternoon rally in Ohio and then during an interview with Sean Hannity on the Fox News Channel.
“I’m telling you, Nov. 8, we’d better be careful, because that election is going to be rigged,” Mr. Trump said in the Fox News interview. “And I hope the Republicans are watching closely or it’s going to be taken away from us.”
Earlier in the day, Mr. Trump warned supporters in Columbus, Ohio, that the deck may already be stacked against him for November.
“I’m afraid the election is going to be rigged, I have to be honest,” Mr. Trump said then.
Sean Spicer, a chief strategist and spokesman for the Republican National Committee, declined to say if the RNC agrees with Mr. Trump’s statement. “I think you should seek further clarification from the campaign,” Mr. Spicer said.
Trump campaign officials did not respond to requests for clarification.
Asked by Mr. Hannity during the Fox News interview about his assertion that the November election will be rigged, Mr. Trump replied that he’d “been hearing about it for a long time.” Mr. Trump made reference to voting sites—predominately in minority neighborhoods of urban areas—in which 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney received hardly a single vote.
“You had precincts where there were practically nobody voting for the Republican,” Mr. Trump said. “And I think that’s wrong. I think that was unfair, frankly” for Mr. Romney.
Mr. Trump is correct. There are precincts in Detroit where Democratic votes outnumber Republican votes 1,000-1. There are precincts in Chicago where the Democratic vote is 95% or more. There are also cities like Milwaukee where more votes were cast in 2012 than there were registered voters.
Barack Obama received 95% of the black vote in 2012, which somewhat explains those precinct numbers. Bad recordkeeping – which is par for the course across America – could explain the problem in Milwaukee. Many voting registrars are notoriously lax in keeping accurate voting rolls.
Of course, this is an open invitation to fraud. The question isn't really whether or not there is fraud at the polls – liberals continously downplay the possibility, but there is. The question is how widespread it is, and does it have an impact on election results?
Liberals point to the lack of prosecution of voter fraud as "evidence" that it's rare. The only thing the lack of voter fraud prosecutions "proves" is that we're doing a terrible job in rooting it out.
The liberal Advancement Project claims “you’re more likely to get hit by lightning than find a case of prosecutorial voter fraud.” I guess the Advancement Project missed these recent lightning strikes:
–A Democratic nominee for Congress had to resign in Maryland last month because she had voted in two states at the same time.
–An Arkansas state legislator resigned from office after pleading guilty along with a city councilman and police officer to committing voter fraud.
–In Iowa, a Canadian couple and a Mexican citizen were charged with illegally voting in U.S. elections.
–The guilty plea in California of a Mexican drug dealer who fraudulently voted in the 2008 election while in this country illegally.
Our chaotic voter registration rolls make it too easy to commit voter fraud. A February study by the non-partisan Pew Center on the States found one in eight voter registrations were invalid or contained major errors. Some 2.8 million people were registered in two or more states, and 1.8 million registered voters are dead. That’s an open invitation to fraud and mischief. The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, ruling in 2007 in favor of photo ID laws, found there was “an extreme difficulty of apprehending a voter impersonator” if no ID was required. In other words, we have no idea how much fraud could be out there.
There have been calls for national voter registration to prevent much of this bad recordkeeping and make it possible to cut off voter fraud at the source. But the Constitution makes no such allowance, and, indeed, a constitutional amendment would probably be needed.
So it's up to the states to protect the integrity of the vote. I don't know how realistic Trump's worries are – that the nationwide election could be stolen. Certainly fraud can impact local and congressional races, where only a few thousand fraudulent votes could swing the contest. But it's hard to imagine any scheme where millions of votes could be manufactured or stolen in order to tip the election to Clinton. Trump's accusation may have more to do with creating an excuse for losing than a real-world concern that the election was "rigged."