Repeat after me: Elections aren’t rigged

There is a faction of America who think the election will be “stolen” and that ttrocess is rigged.


Start with common sense, and think of the process of where you vote.  You walk into your local precinct, stocked with ordinary people from your community.  You might say hello and ask how their family is doing.  They check your name and ID against the book of registered voters looking for your matching signature.  In most places you are handed your ballot or plastic card for a touch-screen and off you go to vote.

For the election to be rigged, your local volunteers would need to be in on the scam. In my Ohio community of 20,000 inhabitants, there are just less than a dozen polling precincts located in three or four voting locations.  Each voting location has, easily, 20 volunteers at any time during the day.  There must be 50 voting locations in my county, which is one of 88 in the state. How many thousands of local volunteers at polling stations would need to be in on the fix?  A GOP-based DC law firm tweet-stormed how this idea of a rigged election is preposterous.

Also at each polling location are members of the Democratic and Republican parties, trained to watch to be sure there are no shenanigans take place and that any voting irregularities are handled immediately and by the book.  Pollwatching is pretty much the same in every state, and with each party granted the opportunity, another layer of protection guarantees that the system is not rigged.

Elections are state-run affairs, but managed at the local level.  States are a patchwork of different systems for voting, from optical scan to touch-screen computers and paper ballots for those who vote absentee. Indeed, the entire state of Oregon is absentee, as their system is exclusively mail-in.  Anyone who claims the system is rigged needs to explain how this can be to you and me.

This doesn’t even broach the topic of voter fraud, which has been found to be tremendously rare. To buttress this claim, the Federalist website took these claims to task, pointing out that in Pennsylvania 700 people may have voted twice (which doesn’t even add up to 0.10% of the electorate in that state) and that in Colorado a handful of dead people voted.  Yes, voter fraud exists.  But by the total number of votes counted, voter fraud is extremely rare.  And yes, we should continue to prosecute it and continue to work to have fraud-less elections.  But this is hardly proof of stolen elections.

What is possible is that the election could be hacked.  There is ample data showing that the potential for this does exist.  And some states do not have a redundant backup to verify a person’s vote, such as Georgia. However, there are multiple back-ups and secure steps in place for the preventing the tampering with the actual total vote count in a state.  When Florida was reported as being hacked this week, allegedly by Russians, it lent credibility to the claim that election could be thrown.  But read through how Florida handles the actual voting mechanisms which make throwing the election much more than a simple hack.

So rigging an election?  Nope.  Hacking election systems that create chaos and turmoil?  Very possible.  Throwing the election through a simple hack?  Fantastical.

Democracy is built upon trust: of each other and of our elected leaders. It would be the ultimate show of patriotism in the worlds oldest running democracy for its leaders — of all political stripes — step forward and jointly speak to the confidence each has in the election mechanisms.  Why would anyone want to cast doubt over the legitimacy of our democracy?


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