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What would rigging an election actually entail?
Rigging an election would require a widespread, nationwide effort with the two major parties colluding at every level. This is why election law experts say it would be extremely difficult, if not impossible, to “rig” an election. In this country, voting is an open, multi-step process with scores of witnesses from both parties each step of the way.
Chris Ashby, campaign finance and election lawyer at Virginia-based Ashby Law, points out that American elections are held in open, public rooms, such as school gyms, community centers and community centers.
“There are no back rooms, secret doors or hidden hallways,” Ashby wrote recently. The ballots, voting machines and election materials are locked and sealed when they arrive in the voting place, and when they are removed after the election is over, they are locked and sealed again.
In most states, there are “poll observers” in each county who have been chosen and trained by both the Republican and Democratic parties to watch for problems or efforts to disenfranchise voters during the voting process. The poll observers are allowed to watch the poll workers and other election officials, who have also undergone training to run the polling places and help conduct the election.
Voters use equipment that is publicly tested and observed by party representatives and representatives of the campaigns, Ashby said. After it’s tested, voting equipment is locked and sealed.
“Rigging” an election would require the cooperation of the Republicans and Democrats who are the polling place election officials, along with the poll watchers from each party who are watching the election officials conduct the election, Ashby said. It would also require, he points out, the cooperation of the another group of Republicans and Democrats after the election who are watching the counting of ballots.