Donald Trump’s rigged election claims might sound too reductionist and naive to some, but there are not altogether without merit.
As The Guardian reports, U.S. elections are “rigged,” but not in the way Trump would like people to believe. Trump has often insisted at his rallies that the national press is out to get him, and the Clinton campaign is rigging the election in collusion with the media. It is a theory which does appeal to many, including his surrogates Rudy Giuliani and Newt Gingrich, who recently said in an interview that Trump would be beating Hillary Clinton by 15 points if the media was not “rigging” the election against Trump.
While there is little doubt that some of the major news networks can be found having ties with the Clinton family or even her campaign, the sheer idea of a monolithic media out there to get Trump is not only far-fetched, but also paranoid.
Another way that Trump likes to talk of a rigged election is by propagating the “voter fraud” theory through his rally speeches and his Twitter account.
Again, Donald Trump’s prominent supporters like Sen. Jeff Sessions and Giuliani have accepted and expanded on the rhetoric, saying that dead people cast votes for the Democratic Party several times.
“There are a few places, and not many in swing states … where they have been notorious for stealing votes. Pennsylvania, Chicago. There have been places where a lot of cheating has gone on over the years … Dead people generally vote for Democrats, rather than Republicans … what they do is, they leave dead people on the rolls, and then they pay people to vote those dead people four, five, six, seven, eight, nine times.”
Now, this is the theory which is easy to debunk as being patently false. As the Atlantic reports, a Brennan Center for Justice report found that such allegations only sprung from bad matches, and were not part of a larger conspiracy, something Trump consistently hints at. In fact, a court looking at allegations of dead people casting votes in Washington found that there was no evidence to suggest that either party received an advantage because of the mistakes.
The truth is, the American election cycle has so many overlapping layers of oversight that experts agree it would be impossible for any candidate to manipulate the results in the way Donald Trump’s rigged election claims suggest.
But, considering these factors, it would be easy to assume there was nothing wrong with the presidential election. But that is not altogether true. There have been several reports about absentee ballots going missing in important swing states, like Ohio. Another report suggesting that postal workers were tampering with absentee ballots has raised fears among Trump’s supporters that the election can indeed be rigged.
As Dispatch reports, more than a million of Ohio’s 7.7 million registered voters wouldn’t get the mailing because Secretary of State Jon Husted’s office had pared the list beforehand. Out of this million-plus voters, most have either changed their addresses or have not responded to requests about their addresses from their county board of elections.
As expected, Husted’s decision not to mail absentee ballot applications to 13 percent of Ohio’s voting population has drawn a lot of ire.
“Mr. Husted is playing fast and loose with the absentee ballot access of certain registered and eligible voters,” said state Rep. Kathleen Clyde.
“Husted has taken it upon himself to deem one group of registered voters ‘active,’ while unfairly judging another group ‘inactive.'”
Elsewhere, there have also been reports of Donald Trump not being on the early voting ballots at all.
All of which raises serious questions about voting rights in swing states, something which Trump could have talked more about in his rallies or on social media. But instead, Trump’s rigged election claims have focused more on propagating the “voter fraud” myth, which might not take him very far.
[Featured Image by Sarah Rice/Getty Images]