A few days ago, Trump talked about voter fraud and called it a big problem in the US which nobody has the guts to talk about.

  • What do US people think about the issue (poll results)?

  • What are the (probable) count system malfunctions that let Trump claim so?

    • Did unfair counting of votes happen before?
  • 3
    When talking about voting fraud, it's important to distinguish three types: 1) in-person fraud, where someone casts a ballot they're not eligible to (double voting, or voting when not eligible), 2) counting fraud (where the announced results do not match the votes actually cast), and 3) vote-suppression fraud (where eligible voters are, for one reason or another, not permitted to vote). In-person fraud is by far the most talked-about, and if prosecutions are any indication, the least common.
    – Mark
    Commented Oct 9, 2016 at 3:47
  • consent is manufactured Commented Nov 3, 2016 at 15:15

2 Answers 2


Trump talked about voter fraud and called it a big problem in the US which nobody has the guts to talk about it.

Vote fraud does occur in elections, though I personally doubt that it's a big problem. It's actually a rightwing conspiracy theory.

Trump occasionally talks about voter fraud and it might be one of the reasons he'll give if he loses the election in November. As The New York Times described it, it is an argument to "revive his embattled candidacy".

Politico does have an article about this which states that:

It’s also common for White House losers and their allies to respond with a declaration they’ve just been a part of a sham election.

So, personally I think that it's simply an excuse and a foreshadow for Trump if he loses in November.

What do US people think about the issue (poll results)?

There have been polls around about this issue (though they are not that common).

One such poll by Gallup shows that 36% of US citizens thought that it's a major issue and Republicans were more likely to view voter fraud as a major problem.

What are the (probable) count system malfunctions that let Trump claim so?

Count system malfunctions are very rare unless the systems somehow get hacked.

Trump mainly claim that people voted multiple times, but he didn't explicitly say what kind of fraud he is hinting at and of course he has no evidence to back up his claims.

“Watch your polling booths, because I hear too many stories about Pennsylvania, certain areas. We can’t lose an election because you know what I am talking about.”
~ Donald Trump at a rally in Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Did unfair counting of votes happen before?

Notably, many also claimed the 2000 presidential election was rigged, where Gore won the popular vote but lost electoral vote and Bush ultimately wins the presidency. However, there isn't hard evidence to prove this.

Unfair counting has happen before but due to cases of voting multiple times or impersonation. However, recently, with the implementation of Voter ID in many states, it has become very difficult to impersonate others.

This article by The Washington Times lists out some minor cases.

Personally, I do not think that voter fraud is a major issue and would really change the results of the election. His prediction that there would be voter fraud in Pennsylvania is absurd and baseless. It's just for him to attack Clinton's honesty which fits in his line of attack.

Most importantly, it's an excuse for Trump if he loses.

Finally, check out this commentary by The Guardian which addresses your question quite clearly:

Donald Trump believes he’s losing, and he doesn’t like that. Calling for ‘election observers’ to monitor the poll is the dangerous first episode in an ugly tantrum


One of the problems Republicans have long complained about is the difficulty in detecting voter fraud. Are dead people voting? Are non-citizens voting? Efforts by Republicans to enact voter ID laws have met stiff resistance that often relies on the argument that we don't need to be able detect voter fraud because we haven't detected it in the past, and since we haven't detected it it must not exist.

There have been a few efforts to see whether fraud can happen. A New York City watchdog group tested the polling stations and found that 97% of their undercover agents were able to get away with voting in a fraudulent manner.

This article talks about illegal voter registrations discovered in Virginia. The number isn't terribly large, but the point is made that the discoveries of fraud were made because "Basically, they turned themselves in." How many people didn't turn themselves in? Also 'There are methods of cross-checking the jury duty rolls, as well as the driver’s license rolls. “I wish Virginia was doing that,” Adams said. “The governor vetoed legislation last year that would have required it.”' So it seems we don't know how big the problem is because efforts to find out are discouraged.

Trump says there is an elephant in the room that no one wants to talk about. A better description might be that there have been one or two roaches seen but no one is sure how many more are hiding because we aren't allowed to go looking through the cupboards and crawlspaces or under the furniture for them.

  • Just because people can get away with fraudulent voting doesn't mean they are.
    – Mark
    Commented Oct 9, 2016 at 3:48
  • 1
    @Mark Yes, I tried to make it clear that I wasn't saying there is massive fraud, just that we don't know and are discouraged from finding out.
    – Readin
    Commented Oct 9, 2016 at 4:11
  • @Mark 1-In every country there are some people that want to do unfair. 2- In the (US president) election, candidates spend billions, they lie, they reveal ... etc. So if a candidate can cheat maybe (s)he do it.
    – user 1
    Commented Oct 9, 2016 at 10:50

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