Is The U.S. Election Rigged?

Seeker Daily

Is The U.S. Election Rigged?

With Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump already calling this election rigged, is voter fraud really as likely as he claims?

Donald Trump has repeatedly cited episodes of "large-scale voter fraud" in the past as one of many reasons he believes the presidential election is rigged in favor of Hillary Clinton. He's even encouraged his supporters to patrol voting sites; Trump calls this "monitoring," others calls it intimidation.

But as Jules Suzdaltsev explains in today's Seeker Daily report, voter fraud in the U.S. is so rare as to be statistically nonexistent.

First, let's define some terms: Voter fraud refers to individual voters misrepresenting themselves at the polls. A voter might try to cast more than one vote in a given election, or register the vote of another citizen who isn't voting at all. A fraudulent voter might assume the identity of a dead person, or accept money to vote a certain way.

Electoral fraud, on the other hand, refers to systemic interference with the electoral process itself. These might include rigged ballot machines, ballot stuffing, or changing the vote count after legitimate votes have been tallied. Organized voter fraud would also be technically considered electoral fraud.

RELATED: Do Presidential Debates Sway Voters?

In any case, both practices are exceedingly rare in the United States. One very famous and comprehensive investigation followed up on each alleged incident of voter fraud in every single general, primary, special, and municipal election in the U.S. from 2000 through 2014. The investigation found 31 possible cases out of more than one billion votes cast.

Then again, although voter fraud rarely happens in the U.S., all indications are that it would be pretty easy. In a 2013 investigation, undercover agents posing as ineligible voters were able to vote at 61 out of 63 polling stations.

Citing incidents like this, Republicans in Congress have repeatedly introduced legislation for stricter voter ID laws. But opponents contend that these laws simply exist to disenfranchise voters who can't afford to get an ID -- namely Democrat-voting minority populations.

Check out Jules' report for more information, or click over to our related coverage, How Are U.S. Voter Demographics Changing

-- Glenn McDonald

Learn More:

Vox: Trump's Claims About Voter Fraud Are Based on a Lie

PBS: Why Voter ID Laws Aren't Really About Fraud

The Washington Post: Selling Votes is Common Type of Election Fraud