At the Board of Public Works Oct. 19th meeting, members passed without discussion a proposal by the State Board of Elections to pay Clear Ballot Group Inc. $275,000 for an “independent and automated solution to verify [the] accuracy” of the state’s election results. Seems reasonable, right? Especially now that the term “rigged” frequently precedes “election” in this year’s campaign rhetoric. The only problem is it won’t work. We have some experience to back this judgment: Between us, we have helped audit about 20 contests in several states and designed auditable voting systems. Methods developed by one of us are in laws in two states. It’s great that Maryland voters get to vote on paper ballots this year; paper ballots that voters can check are the best evidence of “the will of the people.” Maryland’s ballots will be scanned and then counted electronically. As required by hard-won state legislation passed in 2007, the paper ballots will be stored securely as durable evidence of what voters wanted.
Editorials: Trump campaign promises not to intimidate voters on Election Day. That’s huge. | Richard Hasen/Slate
On Friday morning, a federal district court will hear arguments in a dispute between the Democratic National Committee and the Republican National Committee over whether the RNC, the Trump campaign, and its allies are violating a long-standing consent decree barring the RNC from engaging in intimidation of minority voters at the polls. It’s not the only case being heard on an emergency basis this week: Democrats have filed suit against Donald Trump, Republican state parties, and Trump ally Roger Stone in the battleground states of Arizona, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. In the Nevada suit, Stone has been ordered to explain at a separate Friday hearing what his questionable “Stop the Steal” organization is planning for Election Day. But regardless of how these hearings go Friday, the lawsuits have already borne fruit by getting the campaign on the record with its plans and promises not to intimidate voters. In an important development on Thursday afternoon, the Trump campaign in response to the lawsuits sent an email to Nevada campaign workers describing for them what constitutes illegal harassment and what constitutes good behavior. By getting Trump on the record promising not to harass voters with its “ballot security” activities, the Democrats have significantly lessened the chances of Trump-driven voter intimidation on Election Day.
Early voting is underway, and according to Donald J. Trump, so is voter fraud. Almost daily, he proclaims that “large-scale voter fraud” is happening and that the election is “rigged.” Politicians across the spectrum have criticized this nonsense as divorced from reality, deleterious to our democracy and unprecedented in our elections. It’s good to see such a strong, bipartisan pushback, but the critics are wrong on that last point. Thinly supported allegations of electoral malfeasance have been deployed throughout American history, often by those who want to restrict the vote. In the Jim Crow South, discriminatory devices from poll taxes to all-white primaries were justified as a means of fraud prevention. In 1902, Texas adopted a poll tax. Its champions argued in The Dallas Morning News that the tax would prevent fraud and protect against “corrupt methods at the polls.” Their reasoning? If casting a vote is free, then poor people will sell their votes “for a trifle.” … In itself, there is nothing wrong with poll monitoring. States often allow certified observers to watch polls. Trained poll monitors can help prevent mishaps on Election Day, like ensuring that eligible voters don’t slip through the cracks because of poll-worker error. But undisciplined poll watching can degenerate into voter intimidation.
“We have to make sure that this election is not stolen from us,” Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump said during a recent rally in Pennsylvania, “ Everybody knows what I’m talking about.” As the poll numbers tighten, both nationally and in key battleground states, Donald Trump has ratcheted up his claims that without voter ID laws, Democrats will flood the polls with people ready to “vote 15 times.” These claims are typical of what many Republicans have been asserting for more than a decade to justify severely restrictive voter ID laws now in effect across the nation. As first enacted, these laws restricted the number of acceptable photo IDs to a handful – usually no more than seven or eight – and deliberately excluded IDs most readily available to low-income and young people through public assistance agencies, colleges and public or private employees. Texas and Wisconsin even excluded military veteran IDs, but relented after veterans groups protested.
Editorials: Ballot Measures Need to Be Written in Plain Language | Whitney Quesenbery & Dana Chisnell/New York Times
The biggest complaint we hear in our research with voters is that ballot questions seem written to purposely confuse them. They’re not wrong. Weighing in at 75 words, the Florida amendment on solar energy that has so upset voters this year doesn’t look too bad. But it took us almost an hour to work out what the amendment actually says — and we are experts used to reading legal texts. What about voters like the 43 percent of American adults who read at basic or below basic levels? Ballot measures that are written in plain language are much more respectful of voters. But there are other issues at play: First, readers have to find the information in advance to inform their opinion on ballot measures. For many voters, the first time they see a ballot question is when they are faced with it in the voting booth.
Editorials: The world may change; but D.C. voting rights remain the same | Timothy Cooper & John Capozzi/The Hill
The last time D.C. residents went to the polls to cast a vote for or against a D.C. statehood referendum, 52 American diplomats and citizens were being held hostage in Tehran by the Ayatollah Khomeini; the AIDS-causing virus hadn’t yet been discovered, let alone controlled; and Deng Xiaoping’s economic reforms had only been launched the previous year. The Cold War between East and West was at full pitch. Now China has become the world’s second largest economy and the Berlin Wall is no more. Even Eastern Europe’s democratic color revolutions have come and gone. South Africa has long since dismantled apartheid. In other words, most everything in the world appears to have changed since 1980; that is, except, of course, the non-voting status of District of Columbia residents. Our sorry political status remains conspicuously the same. We enjoy no right to equal congressional representation; nor, for that matter, are we permitted by Congress full local autonomy to run our daily affairs as only we see fit.
Editorials: Without a modernized Voting Rights Act, there’s no such thing as an honest election | Jim Sensenbrenner/The Washington Post
On Tuesday, Americans will elect a president without the full protections of the Voting Rights Act. The last time that happened they were deciding between Lyndon Johnson and Barry Goldwater — more than a half-century ago. In 2013, the Supreme Court declared that voter discrimination was no longer a problem and effectively struck down the only portion of the act designed to stop discrimination before it affects an election. The court let stand the provisions of the act that allow lawsuits after a discriminatory law takes effect, but unfortunately, the United States has learned the hard way that there is no satisfactory cure for discrimination after an election occurs.
There’s good news: most Americans still have at least some confidence in our elections. But there’s also troubling news: Americans’ faith appears to be falling, and only four in ten now have “strong confidence” that their votes will be counted as cast. Among Republicans, the proportion has fallen to around a third. While Donald Trump has been working hard to propagate perceptions of voter fraud, there’s still scant evidence of such threats. A recent academic study found just 31 credible allegations of in-person voter fraud out of more than a one billion votes cast between 2000 and 2014. According to polling, more Americans are concerned about the susceptibility of our voting system to hacking than to other kinds of manipulation. Regardless of where you stand on questions of election integrity, we all need to reckon with a simple fact: Even just perceptions of rigging are corrosive to our democracy. We have a serious obligation to restore faith in our electoral system. The question is how to do so. … For now, there’s one option that’s both cheap and effective: returning to paper ballots.
The revival of Hillary Clinton’s email woes and a trend toward tightening polls are giving Donald Trump new hope of winning the White House. Could this election go into overtime? If the race is exceptionally close, we can’t rule out an overtime period that, in this environment, could rip the country apart. It is absolutely fair for any candidate to exercise his rights to ask for a recount if the election is particularly close. We should have all confidence that the election results are accurate. When the Supreme Court halted the Florida recount he had requested in 2000, Al Gore graciously accepted the results. “For the sake of our unity as a people and the strength of our democracy, I offer my concession,” he said. However, Gore’s conciliatory tone is not Trump’s rhetoric of “rigged” elections, which he regularly uses to whip up his supporters. He talks of people casting fraudulent votes and stationing observers to “watch” the election. Trump questions the process itself, describing how election officials count ballots: “Oh here’s a ballot. Here’s another ballot, throw it away. Oh, here’s one I like. We’ll keep that one.” This is where a real nightmare for America’s democracy could unfold. What if the initial tally on election night favors Trump but as more votes are counted in the following days, the results shift in Clinton’s favor? It does not take too much imagination to predict Trump would be outraged, with an emphasis on rage.
Iowans can vote early in this year’s general election, but they cannot vote often. Unless they want to spend some time in jail and perhaps lose the right to vote entirely. Terri Lynn Rote of Des Moines was arrested last week on suspicion of casting two ballots for the upcoming election: one at the Polk County Election Office and one at a satellite voting location. The 55-year-old woman was booked Thursday on a first-degree charge of election misconduct and released Friday after posting bond. Iowa Code Chapter 39A rightly contains unforgiving language about offenses with the potential to affect the election process, including voting or attempting to vote more than once in the same election. Such wrongdoing should “be vigorously prosecuted and strong punishment meted out through the imposition of felony sanctions which, as a consequence, remove the voting rights of the offender.” Iowans will be watching to see if Rote, a registered Republican who supports Donald Trump for president, is vigorously prosecuted. Because she certainly should be. Rote is not an elderly person with dementia who forgot she had already voted. It appears she knew exactly what she was doing. She told Iowa Public Radio she feared her first ballot for Trump would be changed to a vote for Hillary Clinton. So she went and cast another one. “The polls are rigged,” she said.
On Oct. 17, at a campaign rally in Green Bay, Wisconsin, Donald Trump made one of his many provocative claims about the integrity of U.S. elections, especially in battleground states crucial to his election chances. “It’s possible that non-citizen voters were responsible for Obama’s 2008 victory in North Carolina,” Trump told the crowd in the packed convention center. “It could have provided his margin of victory.” The charge was, in some ways, quintessential Trump, melding two central themes of his candidacy: the supposed danger posed by undocumented immigrants, and alleged “large scale voter fraud” that could tip the election against him. Trump’s claim was quickly dismissed as a “pants on fire” distortion by Will Doran of PolitiFact North Carolina. But while it may have been easy for some to dismiss the allegation as Trump’s latest truth-challenged exaggeration, the reality is that, at the state and federal level, such rhetoric has resulted in discriminatory policy that threatens immigrant citizens’ voting rights. The study Trump was alluding to came from a guest editorial published in the Washington Post shortly before the November 2014 elections by two researchers from Old Dominion University. Drawing on self-reported data, the authors claimed that up to 6 percent of non-citizens in the U.S. voted in 2008, nearly 18,000 in North Carolina alone.
Editorials: Internet Voting: Not Ready for Prime Time | Association for Computing Machinery/Huffington Post
Yahoo, the DNC, Federal Reserve, Ashley Madison, US Office of Personnel Management, Google, Sony, Jeep, Charles Schwab, JP Morgan, Target, Symantec, Northrop-Grumman, the US State Department…
The above is a partial list of corporations and agencies that have been hacked in the past few years. Given the incredible computer security resources available to each of them, it is reasonable to expect that it is not a matter of “if” but of “when” any widely used Internet voting system will be hacked. This year 30 states plus Washington, DC are allowing overseas military and civilians to return their voted ballots over the Internet; Alaska allows any Alaskan to vote over the Internet. States typically implement Internet voting with the hope of increasing voter access, especially of military voters, or reducing electoral costs. But it is critical to consider the prospective impact of hacks on election outcomes before allowing voted ballots to be delivered over the Internet. A safer option for military voters with access to postal mail is provided by the 2009 MOVE Act, which requires the posting of blank ballots online at least 45 days in advance of an election. Overseas voters can download the blank ballot, print it, mark it, and then return the marked ballot via postal mail.
This presidential election year, millions of Ohioans will be exercising — and already are exercising, in the early-voting period — their precious right to vote. But because of recent federal court decisions, it’s more important than ever that Ohioans protect their franchise by taking extra steps to make sure their right to vote is not being illegally abridged and that their votes will be counted. One recent federal court ruling, for instance, determined that thousands of Ohioans were purged illegally from state voting rolls going back to 2011. How to protect these voters’ rights to vote in the Nov. 8 election was not resolved until last week, when a federal judge ruled that certain voters absent from the voting rolls must be allowed to cast a provisional ballot. It’s important that all Ohio voters now take affirmative steps first to find out if they fall in this category by checking their registration status online or at their county board of elections, and then, if they have been wrongly purged, to understand how they can cast a provisional ballot to make sure their voting rights aren’t unlawfully denied.
Donald Trump’s claims that the election will be “rigged” through voter fraud have become a centerpiece of his faltering campaign. There’s no evidence to support this incendiary charge, but the GOP candidate has been energetically spreading the notion that if Hillary Clinton wins, it will only be because thousands of illegal votes will be cast on Nov. 8. Polls now suggest that most Trump supporters fear the election could be stolen from their man. Trump is right that fairness is going to be a problem this year. He’s wrong about where the problem really lies. In fact, the real voting problem we face in 2016 is almost exactly the opposite of what Trump is complaining about: Officials in at least five states, including several key presidential battlegrounds, have been dragging their feet on obeying court orders to open up access to the polls. As a result, rather than an epidemic of illegal, fraudulent votes, the election is likely to see tens or even hundreds of thousands of people across the country deprived of their constitutional right to cast a ballot. The election wasn’t supposed to unfold this way. Over the summer and early fall, 2016 was shaping up as a landmark year for voting rights, as a string of federal court rulings struck down, blocked or loosened restrictive voting laws in key states across the country. In the three most significant decisions, North Carolina’s sweeping voting law was struck down, Texas’ voter ID law was significantly loosened, and a court required that Wisconsin promise to make voter IDs available on demand, seemingly blunting the impact of that state’s ID law. Voting rights supporters, who had fought for years against restrictions on who can register and when, breathed a cautious sigh of relief. But as Election Day approaches, what’s actually happening on the ground in those states reveals a troubling reality: Important as they are, court rulings can’t adequately protect voting rights if election officials simply don’t want to make things easy for voters.
All politics is local, as the saying goes, and the same is true of election law. Although the U.S. Constitution protects the right to vote, local laws can expand its scope and influence democratic representation. Voters across the country are making choices this fall that will not only affect state and local elections, they will also serve as the catalysts for nationwide reforms. Maine voters, for instance, will decide whether to adopt ranked choice voting, a system in which people select their first, second, and third choices for each office. This reform would make it easier for third parties to gain support and would provide a better sense of the electorate’s overall preferences. In Missouri, voters are considering whether to amend the state constitution to allow a photo ID requirement for voting. In 2006, the Missouri Supreme Court ruled that the prior voter ID law violated the state constitution, so to enact voter ID law in Missouri the voters must change the state constitution.
Judges in Virginia and Florida ordered officials to extend the time for people to register to vote because of unforeseen events. In Florida, it was a major hurricane that for days upended people’s lives; in Virginia, it was a crash of the state elections website. The decisions were eminently sensible and must be commended. But they also should raise the question of why in this day and age, this country largely remains wedded to an archaic system of voter registration that discourages — even prevents — people from voting. “No right is more precious than having a voice in our democracy,” wrote Judge Mark E. Walker of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida in ordering a six-day extension of voter registration in the wake of the massive disruption caused by Hurricane Matthew. “Hopefully, it is not lost on anyone that the right to have a voice is why this great country exists in the first place,” he said in a ruling that should shame Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R).
Editorials: Five reasons why you can count on Minnesota’s voting system | Mark Halvorson/Minneapolis Star Tribune
Rigged? Fraudulent? Excuse me, but as Donald Trump might interject: “Wrong!” In Minnesota, we can have confidence in our election outcomes. For the past 12 years, Citizens for Election Integrity Minnesota (CEIMN), a nonpartisan, nonprofit group, has worked to ensure accurate, transparent and verifiable elections in Minnesota. As the founder of CEIMN, I helped organize seven statewide observations of Minnesota’s postelection audits and recounts. Here are five reasons you can be confident that the results of next month’s election will be accurate and verifiable.
1) Routine audits of voting machines: After each general election, audits are conducted in about 200 randomly selected precincts statewide. Ballots are counted by hand to check the accuracy of voting machines. These audits are public events, and anyone can attend. Malicious attempts to influence the election through voting equipment would be difficult because we use paper ballots and we audit them.
Here is a frightening prospect: with four weeks to go before Election Day, some of America’s voting machines are not as secure as they could be. For years, the idea that hackers might mess with a U.S. election seemed more like the plot of a novel than a real possibility. As a result, election administrators have tried to save taxpayer money by using the same machines year after year, even after vulnerabilities with some voting machines were exposed. This year is different. Cyber attackers in Russia have targeted U.S. election systems, taking aim at the Democratic National Committee and voter registration databases of more than 20 states. The risk is small, but real. Let’s start with good news: you can trust the national outcome. Most Americans vote on paper ballots. Those ballots are mainly counted by efficient, accurate optical scan voting machines, and, in most states, they are also audited — hand-counted in public in a small number of randomly selected precincts — to make sure that the optical scan machines are working right. If the election is close enough to merit a recount, or if a random audit shows an anomaly, more precincts can be counted by hand.
Choosing to release us from the three weeks of “suspense” he promoted in the previous night’s debate, Donald Trump on Thursday promised, with characteristic graciousness, to accept the results of the election… if he wins. Rarely has an ellipsis been more consequential. Even at a time when all the constraining norms of American politics appear to be disintegrating before us, the assumption of a peaceful transfer of power — in which the election’s loser concedes to the winner — would have seemed a foregone conclusion. No longer. Of course, if Trump were merely suggesting that he reserves the right to litigate if the election results are uncertain or too close to call, then he was merely stating the obvious. But never before has a candidate sought to keep the nation in “suspense” as to whether he would concede. To do so, by its very nature, casts doubt on the democracy. The reality TV show that this campaign has become could do without yet another dangerous cliffhanger.
Editorials: Trump poses an unprecedented threat to the peaceful transition of power | The Washington Post
WHAT HAS allowed the United States to last for so long as a democracy, when so many other countries have failed? There are many factors, but none is more fundamental than this: When we hold elections, the losing party acknowledges the legitimacy of the winner, and the winner allows the loser to survive to fight another day. Now, for the first time in modern history, a major-party candidate rejects both sides of that equation. If he loses, Donald Trump says, it will be due to cheating that makes the result illegitimate. If he wins, he will imprison his defeated opponent. Many Americans may not have given much thought to what a breathtaking departure this represents, because until now we have had the luxury of never having to think about such things. We have been able to take for granted the quadrennial peaceful transition of power. We watch from a distance when political parties in one foreign country or another take up arms after losing an election. We look, as at something that could never happen here, when a foreign leader sends an opponent to jail or into exile. This can happen in Zimbabwe, we think, or Russia, or Cambodia, but not here. Not in the United States.
A strong 21st century democracy is one where everyone can participate and do so free of intimidation. But it appears that some have a different vision for American democracy, based in fear and exclusion. Recent comments by Republican nominee Donald Trump and his supporters about voter fraud, trying to cast doubt on the results before the votes have even been counted, is not only irresponsible, it is also a lie. Trump took his dangerous rhetoric a step further in Wednesday night’s debate, refusing to commit to accepting the election results. Combining this with his irresponsible comments about a “rigged election” and voter fraud, Trump is hurting our democratic process at the most basic level. Any candidate who questions the integrity of elections without producing one shred of evidence doesn’t understand how democracy works. Trafficking in rumors and innuendo is an affront to the professionalism of election officials in both parties, raises doubts for candidates seeking office down ballot and most importantly confuses voters. If a person can’t tell the difference between actual evidence of wrongdoing that should be turned over to authorities, and a forwarded email peddling conspiracy theories, perhaps it’s best to say nothing and allow the professional election administrators who’ve devoted their careers to making sure our elections are fair to do their jobs.
Editorials: Trump thinks non-citizens are deciding elections. We debunked the research he’s citing. | Stephen Ansolabehere, Samantha Luks and Brian Schaffner/The Washington Post
Donald Trump has increasingly sought to cast doubt on the validity of the upcoming 2016 election outcome, claiming that the results will be “rigged.” He recently cited a study by political scientists Jesse Richman, Gulshan Chattha, and David Earnest that purports to use data from a large national survey — the Cooperative Congressional Election Study (CCES) — to show that some non-citizens have voted in previous elections. This study was summarized at The Monkey Cage and provoked three rebuttals (here, here, and here) as well as a response from the authors. After this exchange, we published a peer-reviewed piece arguing that this study is wrong and that there is absolutely no evidence from the data that non-citizens voted in recent presidential elections. We argue that the findings in the Richman et al. article can be entirely explained by measurement error. Specifically, survey respondents occasionally select the incorrect response to a question merely by accident.
It may be too late for the Republican Party to save itself from the rolling disaster of Donald Trump, but the party’s top leaders still have the duty to speak out and help save the country from his reckless rhetoric. The most frightening example is Mr. Trump’s frenzied claim that the presidential election is being “rigged” against him — a claim he has ramped up as his chances of winning the presidency have gone down. Instead of disavowing this absurdity outright, Republican leaders sit by in spineless silence. Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader, and Paul Ryan, the speaker of the House, are the two most powerful Republicans in the country and should be willing to put the national interest above their own. Both know full well that there is no “rigging,” and yet between them they have managed one tepid response to Mr. Trump’s outrageous accusations: “Our democracy relies on confidence in election results,” Mr. Ryan’s spokeswoman said, “and the speaker is fully confident the states will carry out this election with integrity.” This is like standing back while an arsonist pours gasoline all over your house, then expressing confidence that the fire department will get there in time.
Editorials: Trump didn’t invent the ‘rigged election’ myth. Republicans did. | Elizabeth Warren/The Washington Post
Cratering in the polls, besieged by sexual assault allegations and drowning in his own disgusting rhetoric, Donald Trump has been reduced to hollering that November’s election is “rigged” against him. His proof? It looks like he’s going to lose. Senior Republican leaders are scrambling to distance themselves from this dangerous claim. But Trump’s argument didn’t spring from nowhere. It’s just one more symptom of a long-running effort by Republicans to delegitimize Democratic voters, appointees and leaders. For years, this disease has infected our politics. It cannot be cured until Republican leaders rethink their approach to modern politics. Anyone with children knows that whining about imaginary cheating is the last refuge of the sore loser. But GOP leaders have served up such a steady diet of stories about imaginary cheating that an Economist-YouGov poll shows that 45 percent of Republican voters believe voter fraud is a “very serious problem,” and 46 percent have little or no confidence that ballots will be counted accurately. They hold these views even though there is literally no evidence — none, zero, zip — that widespread voter fraud is a factor in modern American elections. A recent study looked at around a billion ballots cast in the United States from 2000 through 2014 and found only 31 instances of impersonation fraud at the polls. Republican leaders — and even Trump’s running mate — have tried to tiptoe out of the room when Trump makes ever-wilder claims of a rigged election. But as much as these Republicans would like everyone to believe that this is a Trump-only problem, it’s not.
Editorials: Trumped-Up Fears of ‘Rigged’ Elections – and How Responses Could Disenfranchise Voters | Richard Hasen/Wall Street Journal
Thanks to comments and tweets by Donald Trump and the apparent work of Russia, the news is full of allegations that next month’s vote will be stolen, “rigged,” or hacked. Most of this talk isunsubstantiated or greatly exaggerated. Here are four ways that the 2016 election won’t be stolen and one way that responses to exaggerated fears of electoral fraud could disenfranchise voters.
Flawed findings on non-citizen voting: Mr. Trump has pointed to a study arguing that non-citizen voting is a big problem and could have cost John McCain the state of North Carolina in the 2008 presidential election. Politifact rated Mr. Trump’s allegation of massive voter fraud a “pants on fire” claim, noting that this study “has been criticized by election experts for using an unreliable database of Internet respondents.” Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who has been given prosecutorial powers to go after this fraud, has found virtually none. The United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit concluded last month than only a “tiny fraction” of voters are non-citizens and that there is no evidence it is a serious problem.
Editorials: Don’t believe the hype. Foreign hackers will not choose the next president. | Thomas Hicks, Matthew Masterson and Christy McCormick/The Washington Post
Recent reports regarding the ability of foreign hackers to change the outcome of the U.S. presidential election are overstated. Foreign hackers will not pick our next president — Americans will. To be sure, malicious actors may be looking at the U.S. election system as a possible target. While headlines on this conversation may be new, election officials have been working to secure our voting systems for years. As threats emerge and evolve, those of us who work in elections are responding, adapting and constantly improving. Recently, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson commended this work and expressed confidence in the election process, saying: “It is diverse, subject to local control, and has many checks and balances built in.” At the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC), we use research, voting system testing information, and reports from state and local officials about the performance of their systems to improve our certification of voting systems. We work with state and local officials across the country to identify and share best practices regarding cybersecurity, including information on testing systems, auditing the results and creating contingency plans. Election officials use this information to better prepare and secure their systems.
Editorials: It would be literally insane to try to steal an election in the way Donald Trump is alleging. | Richard Hasen/Slate
In recent days, Donald Trump has been aggressively pushing the idea that the election is about to be stolen from him through voter fraud and dirty tricks. The Republican candidate, though, has not been a paragon of clarity when it comes to how the election is being rigged against him—Monday morning he tweeted that Hillary Clinton allegedly being fed questions before a Democratic primary debate was a kind of “voter fraud!” Here’s what we know, though, about what he’s said and why his claims that the election is being stolen have no basis whatsoever in reality. When he’s been most specific, Trump has said that voters in “certain areas”—which his surrogate Rudy Giuliani confirmed to CNN’s Jake Tapper means inner cities where there are large numbers of people of color—would be voting five, 10, or even 15 times in states such as Pennsylvania. Trump has urged his almost entirely white supporters not only to watch their own polling stations, but to go to other polling stations looking for fraud in these areas made up mostly of black and Hispanic voters.
We’re hearing lots of talk lately about how “hacking” threatens our elections or that results are “rigged” and how, consequently, Americans can’t trust the outcome of votes held under the current system. There are lots of reasons why this is an irresponsible and dangerous claim, but the worst might be the cruel slander it perpetrates on our election system’s greatest resource: its people. More specifically, allegations of “hacking” and “rigging” fly in the face of the heroic efforts by our nation’s election administrators to prepare the system for voters on Election Day. In communities across America, election officials work countless hours to build and maintain voter rolls, test voting machines and staff polling locations in advance of the big day.
Attacks on the election system disrespect the thousands of election officials across the country and devalues their diligent — and yes, patriotic — work to ensure that American voters everywhere can cast a ballot. Yes, sometimes things go wrong. In this election cycle alone, we have seen criticism about long lines at the polls or concerns about the security of voting technology. There is also growing nervousness about persistent online efforts to attack and steal voter information from state websites. But every time problems arise, the election community responds.
Editorials: The electronic vote, a political suicide for Argentina | Mempo Giardinelli/BuenosAiresHerald.com
It is widely known, proverbial even, that the Argentine political class commits suicide every now and then. Yet again — as part of the relentless crusade of the Macri administration against society’s rights and conquests, exemplified by the chain of shuttered factories, unemployment and one in three Argentines sunk into shocking poverty — everything suggests that we’re witnessing yet another suicide. A couple of weeks ago, the Lower House passed an electoral reform bill endorsed by the PRO, which is capable of subduing the people’s will to ensure their perpetuity in power after winning it legitimately, all the while betraying the citizens who voted for them in good faith and in the hopes of a change that is clearly not what this republic is experiencing today. That is why the government is now seeking to hastily apply the single electronic ballot system throughout the country starting with next year’s elections.
Experts rate the performance of recent American elections as the worst among two dozen Western democracies. Why? Some longstanding practices are to blame. Partisan gerrymandering insulates incumbents. Infotainment-dominated commercial news reduce campaigns to spectator sport. Social media amplifies angry trolls. Ballot access laws restrict third-party challengers. Women and minority candidates have to fight a hostile cultural backlash. Outdated technologies are vulnerable to Russian cyber hacks. All of these problems have been heightened by the close, heated, and bitterly divided 2016 contest. The result: an erosion of American confidence in the electoral process—despite the fact that voter fraud occurs very rarely. In mid-August, Gallup found that only six in ten Americans are “very” or “fairly” confident that their vote would be accurately cast and counted. That’s down from around three-quarters of all Americans a decade earlier.