Claims of a ‘rigged’ elec­tion are dan­ger­ous

Crit­ics are past counting the racially and eth­ni­cally charged, sex­u­ally ap­palling and ig­no­rant ut­ter­ances of Don­ald Trump. Cit­i­zens might be ex­cused for ig­nor­ing one more, ex­pect­ing that he will lose his odd­ball pres­i­den­tial bid next month, and all dan­ger

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - FRONT PAGE -

Don­ald Trump’s re­cent claims about a “rigged” elec­tion in fa­vor of his op­po­nent are dan­ger­ous.

But with his ab­surd re­cent in­can­ta­tions about the elec­tion be­ing “rigged” in fa­vor of his op­po­nent, Trump is try­ing, like some Joker char­ac­ter emerg­ing from the bow­els of the city, to set into mo­tion fu­ture chaos in our democ­racy. He con­tin­ues to say that if he loses, elec­toral fraud will be at fault, not his own ca­reen­ing cam­paign, even after his own vice-pres­i­den­tial pick, Mike Pence, tried to re­as­sure Amer­i­cans that of course the ticket would ac­cept the elec­toral re­sults in Novem­ber.

For all the tu­mult of past cam­paigns, no ma­jor pres­i­den­tial can­di­date has ever im­plied that if he were to lose, it would be due to skul­dug­gery from within the im­par­tial vot­ing sys­tem it­self. That’s a sce­nario out of a Cold War Balkan Com­mu­nist coun­try, not out of the United States of Amer­ica. Our elec­tion sys­tem, which has its faults — ger­ry­man­der­ing, cam­paign spend­ing, among oth­ers — is still a shin­ing bea­con of fair­ness to the world.

Not a sin­gle ex­pert on the way Amer­i­cans elect our pres­i­dent be­lieves that elec­toral fraud could ever, un­der the cur­rent sys­tem, “rig” an elec­tion in fa­vor of one can­di­date or an­other. Es­sen­tially, it would be im­pos­si­ble to en­gi­neer a wide­spread chang­ing of mil­lions or even hun­dreds of thousands of votes, ev­ery sea­soned ob­server of ev­ery po­lit­i­cal stripe says, pre­cisely be­cause the Amer­i­can sys­tem is al­most com­pletely de­cen­tral­ized.

“We have made it easy to vote and hard to cheat,” says Jon Husted, Ohio’s Repub­li­can sec­re­tary of state.

And yet Trump con­tin­ues to say, as he did last week, that the best elec­toral sys­tem in the world is “one big fix” and “one big ugly lie.”

Where the real dan­ger comes in is in Trump’s calls for his sup­port­ers to head to polling places in neigh­bor­hoods they some­how view as ques­tion­able — read, lived in by mi­nori­ties — and act as vig­i­lante elec­tion ob­servers keep­ing out the riff-raff.

GOP elec­tions at­tor­ney Chris Ashby says that try­ing to call into ques­tion the le­git­i­macy of the elec­toral process could be “desta­bi­liz­ing” to our na­tion. “That’s go­ing to cre­ate a dis­tur­bance and, played out in polling places around the coun­try, it has the po­ten­tial to desta­bi­lize the elec­tion, which is very, very dan­ger­ous,” Ashby says.

Loy­ola Law School elec­tion ex­pert Jes­sica Levin­son told Madeleine Brand on KCRW’s “Press Play” Mon­day that “what Trump is do­ing is re­ally in­cit­ing peo­ple ... to look to see if (other vot­ers) are go­ing to vote for some­one else . ... We have fed­eral and state laws that pre­vent voter in­tim­i­da­tion. If any­one is try­ing to rig an elec­tion, it’s this loose talk aimed at pre­vent­ing peo­ple from com­ing out to vote.”

Our elec­tion sys­tem, which has its faults, is still a shin­ing bea­con of fair­ness to the world.

GOP elec­tions at­tor­ney Chris Ashby says that try­ing to call into ques­tion the le­git­i­macy of the elec­toral process could be “desta­bi­liz­ing” to our na­tion.

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