On Monday (Aug. 1), Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump told supporters at a campaign event in Ohio that he fears “the election’s going to be rigged” on Nov. 8. “I hope the Republicans are watching closely or it’s going to be taken away from us,” he warned, predicting a flare up of pro-Democrat voter fraud.
(The specter of widespread voter fraud, raised by Republicans in 2012, has been debunked.)
“If there’s voter fraud, this election will be illegitimate,” Trump advisor Roger Stone said in his podcast this week, warning of a “bloodbath” if election results don’t match up to opinion polls. (Trump is losing on both fronts.) “The election of the winner will be illegitimate, we will have a constitutional crisis, widespread civil disobedience, and the government will no longer be the government.”
In an interview with a Florida CBS affiliate on Tuesday (Aug. 2), Trump doubled down on the remarks. “I’m talking about at the voter booth,” he said. “I mean, we’ve seen a lot of things over the years. And now without the IDs, you know the voter IDs, and all the things that are going on. And some bad court cases have come down.”
Trump is referring to a recent spate of court rulings that have seriously blunted the effects of voter ID laws, which require citizens to present photo identification at the ballot box. Such measures have been shown to actively exclude the poor, elderly, and minorities. In Texas, a federal appeals court ruled that current laws were discriminatory toward voters, and demanded a significant fix before November. In North Carolina, a three-judge panel of the 4th US Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the state’s voter ID law in its entirety. (The North Carolina law was actually crafted using voter-practice data for African-American communities in order to reduce their numbers at the polls.) And a judge blocked a voter ID measure in North Dakota, as it would disproportionately impact Native-American voters.
Still, despite all evidence to the contrary, Trump believes the only way he can lose in November is by way of a national voter-fraud conspiracy against him. When asked by the Florida CBS affiliate whether he had any concrete knowledge of wrongdoing in this vein, he said “I just hear things, and I just feel it.”