“‘It’s all rigged’: Trump foreshadows how he could undermine presidential election”

The Guardian:

Donald Trump falsely accused Democrats of trying to “steal” Tuesday’s special election in California amid the Covid-19 pandemic by adding a polling place in one of the most diverse sections of a district.

But the county actually added the polling location at the request of the area’s Republican mayor.

In a move that could foreshadow his approach to November’s presidential election, Trump said Democrats were deliberately adding one of the few polling locations over the weekend in Lancaster, a city North of Los Angeles, where it was likely to benefit Democratic voters. “They are trying to steal another election. It’s all rigged out there. These votes must not count. SCAM!,” he tweeted

While Trump has long railed, without evidence, that elections are tainted by voter fraud, the increased focus on vote-by-mail amid the pandemic could offer a new thread for him to pull on to undermine confidence in elections this year. Several studies have shown voter fraud is not a widespread problem.

“Given that the president has been making unsubstantiated voter fraud comments for years, I expect that these comments will continue,” said Richard Hasen, a professor of election law at the University of California, Irvine. “The comments are very worrisome because they increase the chances that the president’s supporters would not accept the election results as legitimate should he lose in November.”

Hasen and other experts helped author a report last month offering guidance on how to shore up confidence in the results of the 2020 election. The recommendations include getting states to develop emergency contingency plans well in advance and educating the public that election results might not be available on election night as officials count mailed-in ballots.

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