Voter fraud, close elections, and Donald Trump

  • 20 October 2016
  • NormanL
Voter fraud, close elections, and Donald Trump

The press is in a lather over Donald Trump's statement that he will "keep us in suspense" on whether he will accept the final outcome of the November vote.

Hillary Clinton called the statement "horrifying." We can think of far greater horrors. We can also think of times when the left said Republicans had stolen, rigged, or otherwise marred election results. You can see some examples of that here. We are most interested in this item:

According to a 2012 Pew Charitable Trust report, roughly 18 million voter registrations are either “significantly inaccurate” or invalid — enough to tip an election. Yet somehow when Donald Trump echoes the concerns about election integrity many Americans have had for years, it’s totally insane. I guess election-rigging only matters when Democrats lose.

There ought to be little doubt that politicians, since they first arose from the ooze, have looked for ways to game the election system to their advantage.  Are millions of illegal or otherwise questionable votes cast in elections? There's no evidence it occurs on such grand a scale. That sort of conspiracy would be nearly impossible to conceal, let alone put into action.

The more likely source of bad, illegal, or questionable votes is in elections where a few ballots cast either way can make all the difference.

Just consider the cases of "Landslide" Lyndon Johnson. Or the election history of Chicago

Even local election officials will admit that errors and mistakes happen on election day. The overwhleming majority are innocent mistakes that are soon corrected. Some, here and there, are not.

The nation's election system needs an overhaul -- better and more secure technology, and a concerted effort to generate clean, up-to-date voter files would be a good start. Voter ID? sure -- if we have to show ID to buy allergy medicine, it makes no sense whatsoever to say ID can't be required to cast a ballot.

To Trump's larger point: he has every right to question razor thin results on election day, and to exercize available legal means if questions arise (as Al Gore did in the 2000 presidential race over the vote in Florida).

Otherwise, he will do as Mike Pence, and his daughter, Ivanka, have said: he'll accept the result, and move on.