Is the US election really rigged?

IS the whole world out to get Donald Trump?

He certainly believes so, claiming the election will be rigged, the media is biased towards Hillary Clinton and the authorities have colluded to protect her.

The Republican nominee is looking increasingly less likely to win, with polling putting Clinton well ahead.

And while some say that’s because of sexual assault allegations against him and his recorded lewd remarks about women, Trump maintains that Clinton is deeply embedded in the establishment and has an unfair advantage.

Let’s take a look at what he says and whether it is true.

VOTING IS RIGGED

Trump has been ramping up claims of “large-scale voter fraud” that he believes will happen before and on election day in the US.

He said the election would be rigged at the polling booths, and that it was common for people to pose as dead citizens to vote. “People that have died 10 years ago are still voting,” he told a Wisconsin rally yesterday evening. “Illegal immigrants are voting. I mean, where are the street smarts of some of these politicians?

“So many cities are corrupt, and voter fraud is very, very common.”

He has repeatedly asked his supporters to keep an eye out for fraud at the polls and has expressed particular concerns about cities like Philadelphia that have large minority populations.

But there is little evidence to back up his claims.

Trump cited Pew Center research that appeared in a report about antiquated voter registration systems “plagued with errors and inefficiencies.”

The 2012 study found that around 24 million — or one in eight — voter registrations were invalid or significantly inaccurate. It also found that more than 1.8 million dead people were listed as voters and around 2.75 million were registered in more than one state. But the report cited no evidence that those errors had contributed to significant voter fraud.

Of one billion votes cast in American elections between 2000 and 2014, there were only 31 known cases of impersonation fraud, according to a Loyola Law School study.

The Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law put voter fraud incident rates between 0.00004 per cent and 0.0009 per cent.

Between 2002 to 2007, when the Justice Department was giving priority to election-crime enforcement, it obtained 86 convictions, according to the National Conference on State Legislatures.

Trump also cited a controversial 2014 op-ed in The Washington Post by Old Dominion University researchers who said enough non-citizens had voted in recent elections that their participation could plausibly change the outcome of close elections.

They claimed that since non-citizens tend to vote Democrat, their participation could be responsible for Barack Obama’s 2008 victory in North Carolina. But the President had enough votes to win the election without North Carolina, which he took by less than 14,000 votes.

MEDIA ON HILLARY’S SIDE

Trump insisted that polls showing him trailing Clinton were skewed because many of those surveyed did not want to say they were voting for him.

He blamed the media for trying to “poison the minds of the voters” in its reporting on sexual misconduct accusations against him.

“They want to put nice sexy headlines up even though nothing happened,” said Trump, who denies the allegations.

It is fair to say the media has been more critical of the Republican nominee than his rival — probably the effect of both a left-leaning press and the fact he has made more outrageous and blatantly inaccurate remarks than his opponent.

The Center for Public Integrity published an analysis showing that more than 96 per cent of campaign donations by journalists had gone to Clinton. However, the donations totalled less than $400,000, compared with Trump’s $400 million total and Clinton’s $795 million.

“The media has deceived the public by putting women front and centre with made-up stories and lies, and got caught,” Trump tweeted.

His wife Melania today added that the women were “organised from the opposition” and that the media did not check their background.

Trump also tweeted that Clinton was given the debate questions in advance, but Huffington Post political writer Kelly Scaletta responded: “There was one email. There was only one debate after she got it. And that question wasn’t asked in it.”

EMAIL SCANDAL CONTINUES

Trump is also claiming the FBI colluded with the Justice Department and State Department “to try to make Hillary Clinton look like an innocent person.”

Records released yesterday indicate that a senior State Department official unsuccessfully sought to lower the classification level of an email found on the private server Clinton used for email as secretary of state.

Clinton’s aide is recorded as suggesting the classification could be changed in exchange for the State “allowing the FBI to place more agents in countries where they are presently forbidden.”

Neither the declassification nor the increase in agents occurred.

But both the FBI and State Department said it was the FBI official who actually said this.

“This shows corruption at the highest level,” said Trump in a video posted on Twitter. “Let’s see how the press covers it.”

Clinton campaign spokesman Brian Fallon said it was well known that there was disagreement among government agencies “about the decisions to retroactively classify certain material in emails sent to Secretary Clinton ... and we were not part of these disagreements that played out inside the government.”

There are traces of evidence that back Trump’s belief he is being marginalised by the elite — although he certainly has his own powerful friends.

But his furious complaining sounds suspiciously like the anger of a man who believes he has been beaten.

— With wires

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