Is the election rigged in favor of Hillary Clinton, as Donald Trump repeatedly claimed? The mainstream media have been in collective outrage since Donald Trump, in the third debate, said he reserves the right to contest the outcome on November 8.
Liberals insist that voter fraud is a myth invented by conservatives as a pretext for voter suppression. By defining voter fraud so narrowly as to mean only impersonation at the polling place, liberals ignore other serious threats to the accuracy and legitimacy of our elections.
Less thant a month ago, Obama's secretary of homeland security Jeh Johnson publicly warned about the potential for cyberattacks from overseas could disrupt the administration of this year's presidential election. "In recent months," Johnson said, "we have determined that malicious actors gained access to state voting-related systems."
Cyberattacks get headlines, but there are many other ways our elections can be stolen. One of the most common is the risk that your vote could be cancelled by the votes of people who are legally ineligible to vote.
Felons are one large category of people who, in many states, are prohibited from casting a ballot unless they regain that privilege by going through a process of application and approval. But that didn't stop felons from illegally voting in close elections, including the 2000 presidential race in Florida (decided by 537 votes out of 6 million cast) and the 2008 U.S. Senate race in Minnesota (decided by 312 votes out of 3 million cast).
Al Franken supposedly won that U.S. Senate race, which led him to become the 60th and deciding vote for Obamacare. But as John Fund said on C-SPAN last week, "we have proof that 1200 felons voted illegally in that election, and 200 of them were actually convicted of casting a fraudulent ballot, and the election was decided by 312 votes."
Virginia, where longtime Clinton fixer Terry McAuliffe is now the governor, is another state that bars felons from voting until they apply for and receive restoration of their voting rights. Saying he "cannot accept" a ruling of the Virginia Supreme Court which struck down his unilateral action to give voting rights to 206,000 felons, Gov. McAuliffe reinstated voting rights to 13,000 felons — which is enough to swing the election in that battleground state.
Besides felons, an even larger category of persons ineligible to vote is non-citizens. Surely we can all agree that U.S. citizenship should be required for anyone to vote in U.S. elections.? Yet most states do not demand proof of U.S. citizenship from persons voting or registering to vote.
No one denies that our registration rolls include millions of non-U.S. citizens, both legal and illegal, who have accidentally or intentionally registered to vote while applying for public assistance or a driver's license. But how many of those aliens actually voted, and how many elections were swayed by those fraudulent votes?
A study published in 2014 by researchers at Old Dominion University provides some answers. Using standard statistical techniques, the ODU study extrapolates from surveys to conclude that tens of thousands of illegal votes were cast in recent elections by citizens of other countries.
In the 2008 Minnesota Senate race that Al Franken supposedly won by 312 votes, the ODU researchers estimate that 3,000 votes were cast by persons who were not U.S. citizens. The study also concludes that in the 2008 presidential election in North Carolina, Obama's narrow victory margin of 14,177 votes was made possible by non-citizen voters.
Remember the 5 million illegal aliens who received temporary legal status under the DACA and DAPA programs because of Obama's unilateral executive action? Now they are going door-to-door to help elect Hillary Clinton and other Democrats, especially in northern Virginia.
Although felons and non-citizens are obvious sources of voter fraud, they are just the tip of the iceberg. According to a study by the Pew Center on the States, published in February 2012, more than 24 million voter registrations are invalid or seriously inaccurate.
Among the 24 million bad registrations are 1.8 million people who are dead and 2.8 million who are registered in more than one state (including 70,000 people who are registered in more than two states). About 12 million registrations had incorrect addresses, which suggests that the voter no longer lived at the address where he registered.
Every bad registration creates the temptation to cheat by someone casting a ballot in the name of a voter who has died or moved away from the precinct. Liberals claim such impersonation is rare because it is rarely punished, but with 24 million bad registrations, many close elections can be determined by fraudulent votes.
Just last month, a judge in St. Louis judge threw out a Democratic primary election because of absentee voter fraud and ordered a do-over. The do-over was held Sept. 16, and this time the challenger (the victim of voter fraud) won in a landslide.
The liberal St. Louis Post-Dispatch has strongly criticized Trump's talk of a rigged election, but when it came to the Democratic primary in its own back yard, the paper interviewed dozens of people, reviewed thousands of documents, and found "numerous irregularities." For example, "Many voters said they were duped into filling out absentee ballots and were told to mark that they were incapacitated when they were not."
John and Andy Schlafly are sons of Phyllis Schlafly (1924-2016) whose 27th book, The Conservative Case for Trump, was published posthumously on September 6.