Ex­perts and of­fi­cials trash Trump’s claim of mass vote fraud

The Myanmar Times - - World -

EX­PERTS and of­fi­cials on both sides of the po­lit­i­cal aisle dis­missed Don­ald Trump’s claim that “mil­lions” of Amer­i­cans voted il­le­gally on Elec­tion Day as ef­forts ex­panded to or­gan­ise re­counts in swing states.

The Repub­li­can bil­lion­aire’s shock vic­tory on Novem­ber 8 saw him clinch the cru­cial Elec­toral Col­lege count, which de­ter­mines the pres­i­dency, but lose the pop­u­lar vote to ri­val Hil­lary Clin­ton by more than two mil­lion votes.

Clois­tered in his Florida re­sort for the long Thanks­giv­ing weekend, the 70-year-old ty­coon who has never pre­vi­ously held elected of­fice took to Twit­ter to in­dulge in one of his cus­tom­ary tweet storms.

On Novem­ber 27, be­fore re­turn­ing to New York to resume in­ter­views with po­ten­tial cab­i­net ap­pointees, he claimed he would have won the pop­u­lar vote if it were not for “the mil­lions of peo­ple who voted il­le­gally”.

“Se­ri­ous voter fraud in Vir­ginia, New Hamp­shire and Cal­i­for­nia – so why isn’t the me­dia re­port­ing on this? Se­ri­ous bias – big prob­lem!”, he fol­lowed up later.

Mr Trump, who spent the cam­paign warn­ing that the re­sult might be “rigged”, is now – with his aides – push­ing back hard as the Green Party works to se­cure re­counts in three states which Mr Trump won: Michi­gan, Penn­syl­va­nia and Wis­con­sin.

The cam­paign of Green Party can­di­date Jill Stein, who won a tiny frac­tion of the vote in each state and where Mr Trump beat Ms Clin­ton by thou­sands of votes, said vot­ers had filed re­count re­quests in more than 100 (out of 9163) precincts in Penn­syl­va­nia – and more would fol­low.

The party re­quested a statewide re­count in Wis­con­sin and plans to re­quest a re­count in Michi­gan.

But ob­servers deny any ev­i­dence of wide­spread fraud and few ex­pect any change the out­come of the vote, which Ms Clin­ton con­ceded to Mr Trump in an early-hours phone call on Novem­ber 9.

On Novem­ber 28, Mr Trump in­creased his Elec­toral Col­lege vote count to 306, com­pared to 232 for Ms Clin­ton, after Michi­gan fi­nally cer­ti­fied its elec­tion re­sults – and his vic­tory there.

Repub­li­can, Demo­cratic and in­de­pen­dent law­mak­ers dis­missed Mr Trump’s claims as to­tally un­sub­stan­ti­ated. Some ex­perts warned they set a danger­ous prece­dent by po­ten­tially un­der­min­ing trust in democ­racy or con­fi­dence in his lead­er­ship.

“I have not seen any­thing in the mil­lions, I don’t know what he was talk­ing about,” Repub­li­can Sen­a­tor James Lank­ford told CNN.

“There has been no ev­i­dence pro­duced to sub­stan­ti­ate a claim like that,” said White House spokesper­son Josh Earnest.

Ms Clin­ton’s cam­paign has said it would join the process, but has also said it does not so far see any ev­i­dence of hack­ing or vote tam­per­ing.

Bernie San­ders, who ran against Ms Clin­ton for the Demo­cratic nom­i­na­tion, called Mr Trump’s re­marks “un­founded non­sense” that showed Repub­li­cans wanted to make it harder for peo­ple in­clud­ing mi­nori­ties to regis­ter to vote. –

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