Donald Trump’s hammered away saying the election’s ‘rigged’ and 24 million people are registered improperly including 1.8 million dead people;— the first time I ever laid eyes on a list of registered voters back in 1976 it was filled with dead people and people who didn’t live at the address where they’d registered to vote. The same thing’s been true of every North Carolina voting list I’ve seen since and the reason’s simple: When a voter moved from Raleigh to Durham he didn’t write the Elections Board in Raleigh and say, I’ve moved. Take me off the voter list, and the same was true when folks died – on their deathbeds they didn’t smile at their loved ones and say, Remember to write the Board of Elections.
When Donald Trump declared 24 million people were registered improperly he simply stated a fact that wouldn’t surprise anyone who’s worked in campaigns – the real question is: ‘How many of those people voted illegally?’
And, of course, a lot of campaigns check on that fact. Because if someone who’s registered improperly votes you can challenge their vote. Years ago a candidate I knew, after losing a close election, went to court and said, Judge, I’ve found evidence people in Durham voted illegally.
The judge said, Alright. Make your case. If you prove enough people voted illegally to change the outcome of your election, I’ll order you a new election.
In other words, if a candidate loses by, say, a thousand votes he has to prove a thousand votes were cast illegally – and, if he does, a judge can order a new election.
There was a story in the newspaper the other day about a man who registered in three different places and voted 12 times in three elections. When he got caught, to defend himself, he plead ‘insanity’ but a judge sent him to jail and fined him $5,000.
Once I worked in a U.S. Senate election in North Carolina where the Republican candidate won by just 6,000 votes. Were we worried about voter fraud? You bet. Did voter fraud change the outcome of the election? No.
If a major election’s close it’s a safe bet an army of lawyers and researchers will descend on Boards of Elections, pouring through voting lists looking for people voted improperly, and if they find enough fraud to change the outcome of the election it’s a safe bet they’ll head to court.
One other relevant fact (for Mr. Trump) in North Carolina: Every Elections Board is now controlled by Republicans – all 101 Republican controlled boards would have to sit idly by twiddling their thumbs for Democrats to steal an election.
Donald Trump’s said flat-out it’s no longer true the candidate who receives the most votes will win – that this election’s rigged. The next question to ask him is the same one that judge asked years ago: Alright. Make your case. Show us your proof. We’re listening.