Wednesday, October 19, 2016

"Essentially Impossible"- Texas Officials Dismiss Trump's Desperate Claims of Rigged Elections

by Nomad

Officials in the Republican-dominated state of Texas have strongly rejected Trump's allegation that the election will be rigged against him. It's not going to happen in Texas, they assure the voters of the Lone Star State.

Wild Flailings of the Desperate Deceiver

Trump is in trouble. 
The man who has always considered himself the winner is now facing a defeat of a historical scale in the upcoming election. And the end for his political aspirations is fast approaching. 

In his denial and despair, Trump has resorted to a foolhardy, dangerous and unprecedented strategy of claiming the elections are rigged. On the campaign trail, the candidate has repeatedly claimed that there's a conspiracy afoot and his enemies are plotting to snatch victory away from him on the 8th of November. But who are these villains?
Well, by the woman he cast as his arch-nemesis, Hillary, and the once-friendly, now untraitorous media, and, finally a lineup of perfidious Republicans.

In short, nearly everybody is against poor Donald except for his increasingly overwrought supporters. (We have come a long way since the day when Trump proclaimed that "everybody" loved him.)

Despite Trump offering absolutely no evidence of election fraud in the making, many of his supporters appear to believe Trump's allegation.  

That brings us to the Lone Star State.
On Tuesday the Washington Post revealed something few people could have foreseen. Trump lead in Texas is a mere 2 percentage points over Hillary Clinton.
That officially makes Texas, once considered a Republican sure-thing, a battleground state, joining  Ohio, Florida, and Arizona. 
(In Nevada- another Republican state- Clinton reportedly has an astonishing 7-point lead over Trump, according to the latest survey from Monmouth University.)

Even though, Texas has been considered a strongly Republican state, there have been more than enough warning signs that Trump has become toxic to the party.

Back in August, a member of the Electoral College from Texas, a paramedic and EMS educator in Dallas, Chris Suprun declared that under no circumstances would he vote for Donald Trump. 
Indeed, he won’t rule out throwing his vote to Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton if Trump doesn’t moderate his demeanor.
That was in August and Trump's much worse now. Suprun stated:
“The nominee is … saying things that in an otherwise typical election year would have you disqualified.”
That's hard to argue with. 

But is Suprun's protest legal?
Twenty-nine states have laws forbidding electors from bucking the will of their voters but Texas is not one of them. Even in states without laws prohibiting “faithless” electors, they have been extremely rare in modern history and have never had a decisive role in any presidential election.

So it's mostly a symbolic gesture. However, Suprun's declaration does suggest that many Republicans, even in Texas, are not ready to vote for the GOP nominee. 

At first glance, Suprun should be the ideal Republican voter. But as a nominee of the party, according to Suprun, Donald Trump just will not do.
I am not here to push for one candidate or another. I am here to say it’s time we get engaged. If we are serious about keeping the American Dream and allowing our children to inherit a better country than we did, now is the time to get involved.
The conspiracy-minded Trump can hardly call that a rigged election. Actually, as Suprun pointed out, Trump has only himself to blame.

Essentially Impossible

Following Trump's much-repeated allegation that the elections are fixed, Texas officials have stepped forward to reassure voters; regardless of whatever Trump says, there's no conspiracy to steal the election.
The rigging hysteria whipped up by the Republican nominee is simply untrue. Joyce Cowan, who oversees elections in Hays County, stated: :
"We’re not running dishonest elections. We’re not having any fraud, and, if any were brought to our attention, we’d jump on it as quickly as possible.”
Other officials concur with Cowan. Also dismissive of suggestions of fraud at the polls was Carlos H. Cascos, the Texas secretary of state (who is also the state’s chief elections officer). Alicia Pierce, a Texas secretary of state office spokeswoman, said in a statement:
“The amount of collusion it would take among a wide swath of people and neighbors and Texans you and I know to dramatically influence the election on a statewide level would be essentially impossible."
As one source noted:
If anyone is trying to rig the presidential election, Texas is not the place to do it, according to state election officials. The secretary of state's office noted Tuesday that Texas' election system is "highly decentralized," making it very difficult for a successful statewide conspiracy.
That impossibility hasn't stopped Texas GOP Chairman Tom Mechler from stirring up fears of cheating in the election. He said on Tuesday that the Texas Republican Party  shared a concern with Trump:
"We know it's out there, and we know it's massive. We're doing everything we can to identify and to prepare for it."
When pressed on specifics about voter fraud, Mechler was vague. He told a reporter that he didn't believe it was present in every county in the state. Nevertheless, he continued to claim that there were  "pockets of this state that are a real problem, and we have to watch." Where these problematic pockets were, he didn't say. In any case, "pockets" and the adjective "massive" don't actually align. 
Of course, everything is bigger in Texas, including political misrepresentations.

Abbott's Fraudulent Claim of "Rampant" Fraud

Governor Greg Abbott has been an outspoken voice against imaginary voter fraud. As Attorney General under former governor Rick "Dancing with the Stars" Perry, Abbott called the election fraud "rampant." 

Back in March, Abbott implied that Democrats didn't want to fix the problem.
“What I find is that leaders of the other party are against efforts to crack down on voter fraud. The fact is that voter fraud is rampant. In Texas, unlike some other states and unlike some other leaders, we are committed to cracking down on voter fraud.”
The problem was that there wasn't much evidence to back up the governor's assertion. In fact, PolitiFact gave Abbott's rampant voter fraud allegation a "pants-on-fire" rating.
That minor detail hasn't stopped him. In support of Trump's claims, Abbott tweeted:
"Texans will crack down on cheating at the ballot box."
The Crusader Abbott could presumably next go after the problem of mischief-making leprechauns and rogue unicorns too. Meanwhile, Abbott's successor in the attorney general's office, Ken Paxton, has wisely declined to comment.

Incidentally, in this blog, we have examined the relationship between Governor Abbott and Donald Trump and the investigation into Trump's fraudulent university scam. Whether that has any connection to Abbott's support of election fraud allegation, it is impossible to say. 

The Republican presidential nominee's absurd claims reflects badly on the Republican-dominated state.
Why? Well, it is up to the individual states to oversee how elections are conducted. If the election is rigged in red states, then it must be the fault of Republicans.   

The Republican Boogeyman

In Texas, voter fraud claims have been a Republican boogeyman for years. Which is somewhat surprising when you consider that Republicans who have won virtually every statewide election for almost two decades.
For their part, Democrats in Texas say that the GOP voter fraud charges are simply tools to suppress the minority vote in the state. In state legislatures, non-existent voter fraud helps justify unnecessary Voter ID laws.
All the while, Texas Democrats have countered that Republicans' voter fraud concerns are insincere, truly meant to push discriminatory legislation while whipping up their base.
Democrats there know the score. Trump is talking up rigged elections for one reason:
"[Trump] knows his campaign is in a tailspin — and as a result, he’s weaving a web of excuses with dangerous charges that strike at the core of our country’s democracy."
The same article quotes Manny Garcia, executive director the Texas Democratic Party (TDP), who said:
"The real voter fraud is Texas Republicans' relentless effort to keep Texas’ diverse new majority away from the voting booth. For years, Texas Republicans have made it harder for people to vote. They’ve clung to power, winning the very elections they say are rampant with voter fraud."
The efforts to restrict the number of voters clearly isn't working. Texas Secretary of State Cascos announced Texas has more than 15 million registered voters, an all-time high number for the state. Some analysts say that is just another sign that the Republican control over the state might be coming to an end.

Trump's Claims Ridiculous

President Obama clearly expressed his own opinion of Trump's attempt to de-legitimize the election results. When asked about election rigging, Obama said:
"What does that mean? The federal government doesn't run the election process. States and cities and communities all across the country, they are the ones who set up the voting systems and the voting booths. And if Mr. Trump is suggesting that there is a conspiracy theory that is being propagated, across the country, included in places like Texas, where typically it's not Democrats who are in charge of voting booths, that's ridiculous."
The truth of the matter is that the kind of "large-scale" voter fraud that Trump is suggesting is virtually unheard of on the scale Trump is suggesting.

Hats off to Texas. It seems as thought most of the Texas officials have their eye on the ball. As Democrat Dana DeBeauvoir, a Travis County Clerk, explained:
It’s inappropriate for anyone involved in the (election) process to make this loose talk about the integrity of voting. It’s not OK because that undermines voter confidence and that undermines our democracy.”
This conspiracy theory, like so many others the GOP nominee has promoted, is all in Trump's mind and in the minds of his supporters who have chosen to believe a very desperate man.
Clearly, the ridiculous Mr. Trump is in trouble and he knows it.