TEHRAN (Press Shia) – An American political commentator and social justice activist said although Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is claiming foul play because he is likely to lose the election, there have actually been quite a few examples of vote rigging in the US.
“We have had quite a few examples in the past of presidential elections being rigged or controlled in ways that benefit one candidate over another,” Myles Hoenig, a Green Party candidate for Congress based in Baltimore, told the Press Shia News Agency, describing election rigging as “all-American”.
The following is the full text of the interview.
Press Shia: As you know, there are now only a few days left before America votes on its 45th president, with Hillary Clinton's polling lead over Donald Trump having narrowed significantly in recent days. Who will win the 2016 US presidential election and why?
Hoenig: If the latest email scandal development doesn’t create incredible havoc within the party and the election, the person most likely to win is Hillary Clinton. However, the real winner of the 2016 election will be the banks, the oil industry, weapons manufacturers, the pharmaceutical and health insurance industries, as well as a host of other corporations who have always determined who sits in the White House. Labels and persona mean little. President Obama presented himself as the great progressive correcting the mistakes of George Bush. In reality, he was Bush on steroids, especially with his policies on war and the banks, and was the largest recipient of contributions from the financial institutions.
Hillary Clinton runs on a typical Democratic Party, which has a socially progressive agenda yet is pro-war and pro-capitalism. This time around, this Democratic nominee is fooling no one. The primary reason people are voting for her is due to their hatred of Trump. And the argument for voting for Trump is similar, but Clinton actually has a track record of corruption and war mongering. Trump is simply from the bottom of the gutter of American politics, being hateful of all minority groups and ignorant of the world around him.
Press Shia: Trump has repeatedly said that the 2016 election is rigged, saying a "large-scale voter fraud” is taking place. What is your take on this? Is the US election really rigged?
Hoenig: When one loses an election it is easy to claim foul play. Trump is pre-empting his own argument with the claim that he will lose because the election is rigged. There is no proof of that at all, as the election hasn’t happened yet. We have had quite a few examples in the past of presidential elections being rigged or controlled in ways that benefit one candidate over another. President Kennedy won the election in 1960 with apparent fraud that occurred in the city of Chicago, where the Democratic Party boss Richard Daley provided the necessary votes to put Kennedy over the top in the Electoral College. Richard Nixon and his party did consider contesting that election but concluded that it would be very detrimental to the country as a whole for them to challenge the outcome. One would say that with all the machinations of the Republican party in 1971-2 they were successful in maneuvering George McGovern to be the nominee for the Democrats, and thus lose to Nixon in a landslide. And more recently in 2000 with all that happened in Florida and support of the Supreme Court, George W. Bush stole that election from Al Gore. Election rigging is all-American.
Press Shia: One of the most important questions is will US Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton rig the election to win the White House like she did in the primaries against Bernie Sanders?
Hoenig: One would be a fool to think that Clinton, if she were perceived to be losing to Donald Trump, would not do anything to change the outcome of the election in her favor. Although history has shown that some of the flipping of electronic voting machines has benefited Republicans, the Republican establishment is fully behind Clinton this time around. Hacking voting machines is one way to rig an election but as we saw in the Primary season it isn’t the only way and not even the most effective way. With rigging an election comes the question of fairness in exposure. The media was fully behind Clinton in her struggles against Bernie Sanders. While he may have had minutes of exposure, she had positive hours of such. When Sanders filled stadiums, they would only show Clinton half-filling small auditoriums. Polling was not done with those most likely to support Sanders so the major polling operations only reported on how Clinton fared with more establishment Democrats. And lastly, the media stopped doing exit polling, considered far more reliable than polling done before the election, as one is usually more honest in stating how they voted than what their intentions are, for many reasons.
Press Shia: Is there any clear mechanism to monitor the election process and verify the official results?
Hoenig: With 50 states, the District of Columbia, and our ‘colonies’ outside the mainland, there are a variety of election mechanisms. The ease that electronic voting can be hacked is well documented. If paper ballots are used, we saw how in California thousands have yet to be counted even though the election there was called for Clinton, even before the polls ended. The Florida fiasco in 2000 also showed the limitations of paper balloting.
Voting irregularities during election time is ubiquitous. The Baltimore primary election in 2016 was threatened with decertification due to such claims. Election Justice USA, a non-profit election integrity organization has called for many states to de-certify the Primary races for this presidential contest.
When the Supreme Court handed victory over to George Bush over Gore, it was human misjudgments and blunders that prevented the Gore team from calling for a complete state re-count. So it doesn’t have to be just paper or electoral rigging that effects the outcome of an election.