It has been over two weeks since the 2020 election. Joe Biden has clearly won both the popular vote and the electoral college, yet Donald Trump refuses to concede, claiming that Biden only won because of rampant voter fraud.
Now let’s be clear—voter fraud is real, and it is something that all of us should take seriously. However, to call into question the validity of our entire election system and the foundation of our democracy because Trump lost, and then to make that claim without concrete evidence is dangerous and undermines the most basic operation of a democratic state—a peaceful transference of power.
Again, voter fraud happens in every single election. Nicole Carroll writing for USA Today states, “A poll worker will accidentally mark the book to show that John Smith Sr. voted instead of John Smith Jr., and the Sr. is dead. Somebody who lives in Michigan will cast an absentee ballot there, and then vote in person at the precinct near his vacation house in Arizona. Someone will cast a vote for a spouse who died between the time the ballot was mailed and the election deadline.”
All of these are examples of voter fraud that happen in every single election, and yes, they are incredibly illegal. Yet, an illegal vote here and there is not enough to undermine an election that was decided by 3,141 counties in 50 states across the U.S. For voter fraud to have played a significant role in the election, in the ways Trump claims, it would require a broad conspiracy of individuals working together to achieve a massive heist.
In regard to Trump’s claims there would have to be massive voter fraud by at least tens of thousands of votes in each of the six battleground states of Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Nevada, Arizona and Georgia.
To humor those claims, let’s suppose that Trump is correct in asserting that there was widespread voter fraud that robbed him of the election. What would that conspiracy look like, and how would it be pulled off by Trump’s opponents?
To start there would have to be willful premeditation to manipulate ballots in those six states specifically, because Biden lost many other states by massive margins. Therefore, Biden and his allies would have to identify those states as trouble spots for him and initiate a plan to manufacture votes by the tens of thousands. This would require mass communication with hundreds of poll workers who would manipulate or create ballots for Biden across the necessary counties.
Now maybe this heist could be pulled off by a few poll workers in each county but that still is a large number of individuals in on this conspiracy. Then these conspirators would have to achieve their chicanery without other poll workers noticing, and these conspirators would have to maintain this secret well into the future so as not to jeopardize their conspiracy.
If this actually happened, there would be evidence of it happening. Too many people would have to be in on the conspiracy for things to not slip through the cracks. I mean Richard Nixon and his team couldn’t even properly bug his opponent’s hotel room without getting caught, and that is much less difficult than manipulating hundreds of thousands of votes across six states.
Trump is peddling a massive conspiracy theory and that is all that it is. Except unlike the benign theories like the United States faked the moon landing, Trump’s conspiracy threatens the legitimacy of our democracy and has the potential to incite violence amongst his supporters.
If you’re going to claim fraud, at least have evidence and have evidence that isn’t immediately tossed out of court for being unsubstantiated. Otherwise, you just look like a demagogue trying to hold onto power when you clearly lost an election.