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It is all the rage today. The Russians rigged the election! Trump was elected under tainted circumstances! We need an electoral do-over!
Is our electoral system really that porous? Could it be true that Russians (evil, faceless bogeymen, leftovers from the KGB and the Cold War) are so adept at computer chicanery that they are actually able to interfere with the thousands upon thousands of polling places in the nation? Perhaps the experts know.
On October 17, 2016, Hillary Clinton’s Campaign manager Robby Mook said on a phone with reporters that Presidential Candidate Donald J. Trump “knows he’s losing and is trying to blame that on the system. This is what losers do.” Mook added, “This is probably going to be the easiest, most accessible election in our history. There are more voting locations, people can vote earlier, more people can vote by mail than ever before. We think the system is working incredibly well.”
Well, that sure was a vote of confidence. I feel much better now. During the campaign, Donald Trump repeatedly complained that the voting system in America was “rigged”, so a large amount of energy was spent trying to validate (or invalidate) those claims. I am thankful that so many people offered educated opinions and facts that refuted any claims of election-rigging! (That could be a major headache, if it was true!)
The Des Moines Register, on October 17, 2016, published an interview with Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate, in which he made some strong assertions about the integrity of the voting process in Iowa:
“Iowa politicians pledged vigilance in the voting process Monday amid claims by Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump that the election is being stolen to generate a victory for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. Trump charged on Twitter on Sunday that the Nov. 8 election results are being rigged “at many polling places.” He followed that by tweeting Monday morning “of course there is large scale voter fraud happening.” Two national polls released Monday showed that some voters are in fact questioning the election process.
But Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate disputed the claims, taking the unusual step Monday of issuing a statement aimed at reassuring public confidence in the election process.
“I take the integrity of our elections very seriously. It is my number one priority. As the state’s Commissioner of Elections, I can assure you Iowa’s elections are not rigged. My pledge to every Iowan is that you will be able to cast your vote and your vote will count,” Pate said.
Polk County Auditor Jamie Fitzgerald, a Democrat, said he stands fully behind Pate, a Republican.
“Our process is not a Democratic or a Republican process. Our process is an Iowa law process. We are very confident and comfortable with the way things will turn out. Sometimes Democrats win. Sometimes Republicans win. It is up to the voters,” Fitzgerald said.
Pate told The Des Moines Register that there has been no computer hacking into Iowa’s election system.”
On October 19, 2016, the news website Vox addressed Trump’s “rigging” charges in this manner:
“This is pure fantasy. Voter fraud simply does not exist in America at a scale large enough to rig an election. American elections have so many overlapping layers of oversight that experts say manipulating the results would be close to impossible. Clinton is likely to win because Trump has run an incompetent campaign and because she has always been likely to win, even before Trump added bragging about sexually assaulting women, something many women say he has done, to his already long list of racist, sexist, Islamophobic, and bigoted remarks.”
I guess maybe it would be no small feat to rig an American election, with over 200,000 precincts across the country, each one individually monitored by local officials. Maybe President Trump WAS mistaken after all.
Food for thought.