US Elections 2020: Do election fraud claims made by Trump have substance?

WION New Delhi, India Sep 19, 2020, 12.04 AM(IST) Written By: Gravitas desk

Donald Trump Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

This election promises to be America's biggest test of voting by mail.  A wave of mail-in ballots could overwhelm the postal service and local election bodies. 

There are 45 days to go for the US Presidential Elections and early voting has started in four states. In-person voting has begun in Minnesota, South Dakota, Virginia and Wyoming. Absentee ballots are also being sent to all voters who have requested a ballot by mail. The last day to request an absentee ballot is the 23rd of October. 

Voters have also been given the option of dropping their ballots at local polling centres.

Minnesota is one of the most crucial states this election. Minnesota's capital Minneapolis had recently become a flashpoint of race relations. It was here that George Floyd an unarmed black man had died after a white Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck and refused to let go.
 
In 2016, Hillary Clinton won Minnesota by just 45,000 votes. It was a narrow loss for Donald Trump.

Opinion poll are giving Democratic Party candidate Joe Biden a solid lead.

According to the poll tracking website Real Clear Politics, Biden has consistently been leading in Minnesota by an average of 10.2 points. So Donald Trump is not taking any chances.

He is going to Minnesota to campaign. Trump has repeatedly said that he would have flipped the state in 2016 if he had made one more appearance.

This time he has a defence prepared even before the results. Trump has suggested that the result of this election could never really be accurately determined.

 

"Because of the new and unprecedented massive amount of unsolicited ballots-- which will be sent to voter, or whatever--- This year, the November 3rd election result may never be accurately determined.---Which is what some want!!!...Another election disaster...Stop ballot madness!!!" Trump has tweeted.

All American states allow mail-in voting in some way. But some states have agreed to make it more accessible to voters.

  • In 9 American states ballots will be mailed directly to all voters. These states make up for about 44 million voters. This is 21 per cent of the electorate.
  • In 34 states, voters can cite Wuhan virus as a reason to vote absentee or they can cast absentee ballots without citing any reason. These states make up for over 118 million voters.
  • And in remaining 7 states, voters will need a reason beyond the virus to vote absentee. Which means many voters in these states will have have to vote in person at a polling centre. These 7 states make up for 46 million voters. This is 22 per cent of the total electorate.

This election promises to be America's biggest test of voting by mail.  A wave of mail-in ballots could overwhelm the postal service and local election bodies. 

It could also lead to election fraud. So when Trump says that the results will actually never really be determined, he may have a point.

"We could have five, 10, 15, 20 percent off. We could have more than that. The ballots will be stolen. Who knows where they're going? Who knows where they're coming from? It's not just the counting of the ballots, which by the way, which will take forever. It will take forever...You think November 3rd? You might not have, I guess at a certain point it goes to Congress, you know, at a certain point it goes to Congress. You know that? This is a disgrace. This is being done on purpose. They know it's no good. They know it's it's going to be fraudulent, is going to be fraud all over the place...," said Trump.

Also Read | Russia interfering in US elections, targeting Joe Biden: FBI

Meanwhile, a former model has come forward to accuse the US President of sexually assaulting her. This is a two-decade-old case. The model's name is Amy Dorris. She has alleged that Trump approached her at a 1997 US open tournament in New York.

Dorris, who was 24 years-old at that time, has said that the incident made her feel sick and violated. Trump has denied having harassed, abused or behaving improperly with Dorris.
 
Trump is also accused of having misused the US Secret Service. A new report says that since Trump took office, his businesses have cost the US Government more than 1 million dollars in private transactions. The Washington Post recently filed a public records lawsuit which forced US Secret Service to release transaction data. The data released included receipts and invoices from Trump's businesses.
 
The records reveal that Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey charged the secret service more than 21 thousand dollars. The amount was apparently charged for several rooms in March and April when America was under lockdown and the club was closed.

Reports say, that Trump didn't visit these properties during the period but his daughter Ivanka Trump and her family stayed at one of the clubs at least once during the same period.

It remains to be seen how much these controversies impact Trump's chances of re-election.
 

Read in App