October 21, 2016

Horse 2179 - The Election Won't Be Rigged, That's Way Too Hard

Believe me, despite frequent protestations from a certain orange haired individual, the United States' presidential election isn't rigged and there isn't some sort of massive conspiracy to install Hillary Clinton in the White House by the Russians. The election won't be the biggest disaster in the history of the world and there isn't the amount of voter fraud going on, on anything even approaching the sort of scale required to swing the election. Even if you include the case of Florida in 2000, where the chads either did or didn't fall off, that was caused by electoral incompetence rather than deliberate fraud. Never attribute to malice, that which can be attributed to stupidity.
The amount of election rigging to the degree which is being suggested is simply impossible; if anything, voter suppression is going on, particularly in mostly black communities in the south, through Voter ID laws and by lack of provision of adequate polling equipment. That being said, the reason why I can definitely say that they election isn't being rigged by the Russians or the Chinese, from the other side of the world, without doing any research whatsoever, is because of one tremendously obvious reason that has been forgotten by that orange haired individual and that can be summed up in just one word - America.

One of the keys to understanding how the United States works, or continues not to, is that the United States isn't top down Commonwealth in the same way that the United Kingdom is. The United States in principle is a union of fifty states, who mostly don't like each other and who constantly bicker with each other. Those same fifty states retain what is known as a republican form of government; which as far as I can make out, entitles them to retain whatever rights not ceded to the federal government that they can claim and the eternal responsibility to be right nasty pieces of work to each other. Most of the states in the union impose their own income tax in addition to whatever taxation that the federal government might impose and several Supreme Court rulings including White v Texas 1869, confirm that people are citizens of their respective states in addition to being citizens of the United States Of America.

Because America is made up of fifty states, this means that there is not an election to decide who the President will be. Rather, there are fifty elections to decide who that state's Electoral College members will vote for in the real presidential election. I know that I am being quite pedantic here but there is a very good reason for doing so. Those fifty elections are run by the fifty states and those states as republics within the union, have the right to conduct their election in any way that they see fit. In practice, those fifty elections vary wildly from state to state; to the point where the Hank Green from Crash Course, had to make fifty videos to explain how to register to vote in each of fifty states.
On August 9th this year, we had a practical demonstration as to why electronic voting is a fundamentally bad idea. The Australian Bureau Of Statistics blamed the failure of the census website to foreign hackers but it was probably just caused by inadequate testing and the fact that 23 million people all tried to log on at the same time. It showed why having a single centralised place of service would be easier to hack but America doesn't have a single centralised bureau who is responsible for elections. How do you launch a plan to rig fifty elections all at the same time? The logistics for such a plan would be a nightmare.

This gets right at the crux as to why I think that I can say with absolute confidence that there is no rigging of the election. The problem with people who say such a thing, is that clearly they've totally missed the fact that there is not one election but fifty which need to be rigged. A concerted effort to rig fifty elections in the United States, would mean that the entity wanting to rig those elections would firstly have to understand fifty different sets of voting processes and secondly, invent strategies for hacking into those fifty different sets of voting processes. If we bear in mind that not even the federal government in the United States runs the election, then the required machinery needed to rig fifty elections from outside the United States is going to be pretty obvious. In some states, they literally still use mechanical voting machines which were built in the 1920s; so rigging those machines is going to mean a physical presence in polling stations. Unless you can find a lot of sympathetic Americans who will help you, then it's going to be pretty obvious when Sergei turns up to fiddle with the machines. If there is systemic vote rigging going on, then someone will have noticed somewhere that several thousand Russians all mysteriously arrived a week before election day.

I think that the biggest problem for Trump isn't that the election is or isn't being rigged, but that everything that he has said has made him unacceptable to large portions of the population. You win elections by securing the most votes and ironically, suggesting that the election is rigged might cause less of your own supporters to vote because they'd be less confident of a win. If Trump loses, it will be more to do with his own campaign's ineptitude than anything else.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

i hope u get raped