This Argument Destroys The Idea That The Election Is Rigged

Photo: MARY SCHWALM/AFP/Getty Images.
At a Trump rally in Cincinnati, his supporters complained that if he lost, it would be because the election is rigged. "This is my prediction: Trump is going to win the popular vote by a landslide, and the Electoral College will elect Hillary, because of all the corruption," one supporter told The Boston Globe.

They're echoing thoughts expressed by Trump himself. "I'm afraid the election's gonna be rigged," Trump said at a Columbus, OH, campaign event this summer, according to Talking Points Memo. "It’s a rigged system," he echoed at a rally in Bangor, ME, Time reported. The belief among Trump supporters that he deserves to be in the White House and a Democrat win would be unjust is extreme. "If [Hillary is] in office, I hope we can start a coup. She should be in prison or shot," one Trump supporter told The Globe. "We’re going to have a revolution and take them out of office if that’s what it takes. There’s going to be a lot of bloodshed." Some supporters think Democrats are attempting to secure a Hillary win by getting undocumented immigrants to vote multiple times. A few even plan on going to the ballots to identify people who "look like" immigrants and stop them. Trump is encouraging this by letting people sign up to be "Trump Election Observers" on his website. The Washington Post reports that those who sign up get an email thanking them for helping "stop crooked Hillary from rigging this election." "Trump said to watch your precincts. I’m going to go, for sure," one supporter told The Globe. "I’ll look for...well, it’s called racial profiling. Mexicans. Syrians. People who can’t speak American...I’m going to go right up behind them." In a viral Twitter thread, the political law firm Ashby Law explained why the election is not, in fact, rigged.
Lawyer Chris Ashby elaborated on these points in a Medium post calling the election "anti-rigged." On Saturday, Paul Ryan also argued against Trump's claims about a rigged election. "Our democracy relies on confidence in election results and the speaker is fully confident the states will carry out this election with integrity," his spokesperson, AshLee Strong, said in a statement released to Time.

Rick Hasen, a law professor at the University of California, Irvine, writes in the Election Law Blog that Trump supporters' poll-watching could actually be illegal. A consent decree prohibits tactics to intimidate voters, he pointed out, including "any ballot security activities in polling places or election districts where the racial or ethnic composition of such districts is a factor in the decision to conduct, or the actual conduct of, such activities there and where a purpose or significant effect of such activities is to deter qualified voters from voting." According to Politico, Trump's call to "have the sheriffs and the police chiefs and everybody watching" the polls, as he said in a speech in Altoona, PA, may break state law, which says police and sheriffs can't come within 100 feet of the polls on Election Day. Additionally, The Washington Post notes that the case that led to the consent decree included sheriffs and police coming to polling places
While Republicans worry about Democrats winning the election by unethical means, they're actually the party with the troublesome tactics.

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