“Public observation holds people accountable. You ensure that people can see what you are doing, why you are doing it, and that you are obeying the rules,” said Marian Schneider, election and voting advisor for the ACLU of Pennsylvania and the former president of the nonprofit electoral integrity Verified Voting said WIRED in August. “It is only part of our democracy to have processes that allow citizens to participate as observers.”
And while the Trump campaign portrays the situation as dishonest Democrats frolicking in party strongholds, there is bipartisan representation among electoral officials when you look at all the counties and states that took more time to deliver preliminary results. Nevada has a Republican secretary of state, and Georgia has both a Republican governor and a secretary of state.
Election officials are already monitoring for fraud
Election fraud can happen, and last year President Trump desperately highlighted individual examples across the country of investigations that uncovered problems. However, research – including results from right-wing political groups – has consistently shown that electoral fraud is very rare and almost never occurs on a scale that would significantly affect a larger election. The fact that Trump was able to find examples at all speaks instead to the surveillance measures election officials have put in place to get false votes.
How do we know the election wasn’t rigged?
Exact strategies vary by state, but all of them monitor the double vote, the vet’s postal vote for correct personal information such as social security number and signature matches, as well as the number or otherwise track the ballot papers to make sure random forgeries don’t just get into the pile can. Any ballot that is inconsistent, looks suspicious, or is a tentative ballot will be pulled for manual review.
“When it comes to email voting and voter impersonation, you may impersonate a small number of voters, but you will not swing the election, and if you do something on a large scale, you will You find out. ” “says Ben Adida, executive director of VotingWorks, a nonprofit developer of open source voting machines and screening software.” I am not concerned about the risk of fraud as there are procedures in place to ensure that everyone can only vote once. “
The decentralized, state-controlled character of the US elections makes the system even more resilient. Despite the general impatience of the Trump campaign, unsupported allegations, and incendiary rhetoric, there is no central point the campaign can lobby to release the results before they’re done. You cannot generally undermine the quality controls that make the process time consuming. And while it is always possible (though again, extremely unlikely) for a bad actor to rig the ballots while voting, it would require a massive inside job – while the country, the world, and the watchers of the Trump campaign watch – to conduct a massive, deliberate execution scam campaign while counting.
Trump lights a powder keg
Despite the lack of evidence to support the Trump campaign claims, statements by the president and other GOP leaders have sparked fear and unrest. Trump supporters in Detroit and Phoenix protested outside polling stations on Wednesday, taking turns calling on officials to “count the votes” and “stop the count”. In Maricopa County, Arizona, officials closed the polling station shortly after 9 p.m. local time, fearing the protest could turn violent.
In the meantime, social networks have grappled with dealing with incorrect information via voting processing. On Thursday, Facebook removed a group of more than 360,000 members called “STOP THE STEAL” for violating its guidelines. Twitter added misinformation warnings to a number of Trump’s tweets throughout the week, as well as flagging other posts, including one by Donald Trump Jr. that said, “The best thing for America’s future is that @realDonaldTrump is in because of these elections all-out war is waging. “YouTube and Twitter have both suspended the web show of former White House advisor Steve Bannon and removed an episode in which Bannon literally beheaded leading US pandemic expert Anthony Fauci and the FBI Director Christopher Wray urged.