Republican candidate Donald Trump has made the insistent claim that the US presidential elections are being “rigged,” but experts say massive voter fraud is highly unlikely in a system as decentralized as the United States. “There are a lot of safeguards in place that would preclude that from happening, from federal laws to local and state laws as well,” said Jo-Renee Formicola, a political scientist at Seton Hall University. … Pamela Smith, president of Verified Voting, a civic group that advocates for clean elections, says safeguards against fraud are greater now than they were in 2012 and 2014. Still, electronic voting machines could be a weak link. “That’s perhaps one area where we might be concerned about leaving these questions to little towns and cities that may not have the technical sophistications of the federal government, but it would then require hacking multiple places if you are trying to build up,” said Clopton.
Trump may be preparing the ground for a loss to Clinton by predicting that the election is rigged. But experts worry he is undermining public confidence in a basic democratic institution.
“I can say it is highly unusual to claim ‘rigging’ in advance of polls even opening,” said Smith. “It would not appear to be based on specific evidence, or perhaps it is better to say we have seen no evidence brought forward in support of such a statement.
“It is of grave concern to the extent that it could generate doubt in our democratic system and peaceful transference of power that we exercise every four years,” she said.