One of the most common refrains from Trump supporters is that The Donald simply won’t be allowed to win. The Powers That Be are simply not going to let someone get into office who might do something to cut off their supply of cheap labor. But how could they do it? Ann Coulter predicted a faux scandal breaking just before the primary. The more excitable posit assassination. But the truth is probably something more subtle.
Which brings us to an investigation by TruthOut arguing that not only could the primaries and even the elections be rigged, they’ve been rigged in the past.
Primary election rigging in the coming weeks and months is all but assured if American voters and candidates don’t take steps to prevent it now. Evidence that US voting systems are wide open to fraud and manipulation should be taken seriously in light of the unprecedented high-stakes elections we’re facing.
Not in recent history have American voters been presented with such radically polarized candidates, forcing a crucial choice for the direction of our future, and possibly upending long-established centers of power.
[Will the 2016 Primaries be electronically rigged? by Victoria Collier and Ben Ptashnik, TruthOut, January 28, 2016]
Iowa is especially vulnerable to this kind of activity because the caucus is more complicated than a primary. Thus, if you get a “surprise” result vastly different than what the polls had predicted, it wouldn’t raise many eyebrows. You almost expect something like that.
And it happened in 2012. Last night, when Rick Santorum appeared on stage at Donald Trump’s Rally for Vets, many observed Trump’s coup that he had the last winner of the Iowa Caucus essentially endorsing him. But that almost didn’t happen. Or, at least, the real winner was almost actively covered up.
From the article:
Iowa Caucus 2012:
In the 2012 Iowa caucus, Mitt Romney, the favored candidate of the Republican Party’s business elite, was declared the winner after a party-controlled vote count.
However, the true winner turned out to be Rick Santorum, an establishment outsider but the favorite of the party’s evangelical and far-right wings.
Romney actually received fewer votes than were posted online by the state GOP, enough to swing the election. The wrong number was exposed by precinct vote counter Edward True. His protest garnered media attention and ultimately overturned the results, but it was too late for Santorum; Romney’s momentum coming out of Iowa made him the “man to beat” going into New Hampshire.
The right-wing libertarian citizen group Watch the Vote was involved in overturning the Iowa caucus results, and was not convinced it was purely human error. They pledge to keep their eye on Iowa in 2016, stating on their website:
Clearly … the Iowa GOP will be trying to cheat Donald Trump, Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Rick Santorum, and Mike Huckabee. They will be trying to make Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, and John Kasich “win” or “do well” … but we will be focusing on getting a fair count for everyone.
The article chronicles other cases of voter fraud, especially in New Hampshire and South Carolina.
Imagine this scenario. Trump loses Iowa, probably to Cruz (not that Cruz would thrill the Establishment, but it would prevent Trump from simply steamrolling the primaries.) Then, you see a mysterious Establishment victory in New Hampshire. South Carolina becomes a free fall and Trump is stumped because of “momentum,” even though the polls show a vastly different race.
Would most people react or suspect fraud? Probably not. After all, it’s practically consensus the only reason Al Franken won his Senate election was won through a different kind of voter fraud, non-citizens voting. And nobody cared.
After all, remember the first rule of politics…
“The ballots don’t make the results, the counters make the results. The counters.”