Claims of election fraud have become a prominent feature in the campaign of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. He hasrepeatedly warned that the election will be“stolen” from him — especially in black, urban neighborhoods where he has less support. “Of course there is large scale voter fraud happening on and before election day,” he tweeted on October 17.
The assertions could undermine the legitimacy of the election result and of the eventual winner.
Fears about electoral fraud resonate broadly. A September 2016 Washington Post-ABC News pollfound that 46 percent of registered voters believe it happens “often.” These voters are often divided along party lines. Among Trump supporters, that number rises to 69 percent; it is 28 percent among supporters of the Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton. An August 2016 Gallup poll found a similar split. Overall, faith in fair elections appears to be slipping: Since 2004, expectations that presidential elections will be tallied accurately have dropped from about 70 percent to 63 percent, according to the Washington Post-ABC News poll.
But how common is electoral fraud in the United States? And could misconduct at the polls swing a result?
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