Donald Trump on Monday continued a potentially dangerous drumbeat — questioning the integrity of the American election system. These warnings are not new and not supported by evidence; they defy numerous studies that have found that voter fraud is minimal. They also invite a question: If the election is rigged, who is doing the rigging? Presidential elections are conducted on a state-by-state basis, not nationally. And in most of the states seen as presidential battlegrounds, the chief elections officers are Republicans — most directly accountable to their state’s voters.
In Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, Ohio and Utah, the chief elections officer of the state is a Republican, elected by voters of the state. Most are secretary of state; Utah’s lieutenant governor oversees elections there.
In Florida, the secretary of state is appointed by the state’s Republican governor, Rick Scott — a Trump supporter.
In North Carolina, the state board of elections has five members, appointed by the governor — currently a Republican. Its current chairman and three out of five members are Republicans.