Claims that the 2016 Presidential election is rigged
In an already heated election season, Mr. Donald Trump has added more fuel to the fire by questioning the integrity of the voting process in the United States. At the third and final presidential debate, Secretary Hillary Clinton observed that Trump tends to excuse his losses by claiming the system was rigged against him. In the early 2000’s, his show, The Apprentice, missed an Emmy Award over three consecutive award cycles.
In a series of tweets posted in the interim between the initial incident and today’s election, Trump has continually questioned the credibility and honesty of the Emmy Awards institution. As recently as 2014, he has returned to this already belabored award topic and today, has begun to hurl accusations that the election and the media are rigged against him.
“The press has created a rigged system and poisoned the minds of the voters.” Trump stated.
Governor Mike Pence tried to defend his running mate’s comments, saying that Trump was simply referring to “the overwhelming bias in the national media.” But Trump’s critics remain unconvinced.
Election officials are concerned about the calls to “watch” polling places in an attempt to stop voter fraud, especially in cities with large minority populations. However, Trump’s supporters do not seem to be mobilizing. In order to be a poll watcher, citizens must apply and meet certain requirements, yet officials from various cities have not reported a spike in Republican poll watching applications.
Additionally, election officials agree that voter fraud is actually significantly less common than it is perceived to be. Trump’s claims of widespread and organized voter fraud simply have no proof to support them. A Loyola Law School professor conducted a study, which found that out of one billion American votes over 14 years, there were only 31 cases of voter fraud.
While voter intimidation may be an issue, more concerning is the problem that Trump might not accept the results of the election. When asked at the third debate whether he would accept the outcome, Trump prevaricated, and said he would “look at it at the time” and “will keep [the country] in suspense.”
“It’s horrifying,” said Clinton, “That is not the way our democracy works.”
Even President Obama weighed in, “I’d invite Mr. Trump to stop whining and go try to make his case to get votes.”