Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump keeps asserting that the U.S. is going to experience a rigged election this fall. And in a way, he might be right – but it won’t be because his candidacy is shortchanged votes. Instead, it will be because tens of thousands of low income, minority, young, elderly and disabled Americans are stripped of their right to cast a ballot on Election Day.
As the Teamsters and others have noted before, there is no significant issue of illegal voting taking place in this country. In fact, a recent report found only 10 cases of voter impersonation taking place in the U.S. between 2000 and 2012. So it’s beyond unlikely that a rash of people will suddenly flout the law this year looking to influence the election, no matter what Trump suggests.
The real problem is GOP elected officials in many states implementing voter suppression laws to limit the ability of the country’s most disadvantaged to participate in U.S. democracy. By setting up rigid identification rules, Republican lawmakers have essentially curbed the ability of select populations from exercising their constitutional right to vote.
Luckily, federal courts in recent months have pushed back on overreach by several states. Rulings in North Carolina, Texas and Wisconsin in July gave credence to the concerns raised by voter suppression opponents that something shady was going on in those state capitals.
Meanwhile, when it comes to Trump’s “rigged” claims, even members of his own party are dismissing it. Several Republican secretaries of state, who oversee the elections process, took their party’s presidential candidate to task for implying that November’s elections won’t be fair.
Teamsters know what it is stake at the ballot box this fall. Workers need to support candidates who put their interests first, not those who are formulating grand false excuses about why their candidacies aren’t succeeding.
Put everyday Americans first!