Electoral administration at the 2016 US Presidential election

cwv-eewwiaahow5Electoral administration was a dominant theme in the 2016 US Presidential election campaign.  According to the eventual winner, President-elect Donald Trump, the contest would be rigged against him.

After the election a New York Times Editorial pointed towards other problems…..queues at polling stations, however.  This could amount to ‘poll taxes by another name’.  I say more about this in a new blog on electoralmanagement.com

In advance of the polls, Donald Trump claimed that the US Presidential election would be rigged.  We probably won’t hear those claims again from the 45th American President.

But after an election which put America’s electoral machinery in such a critical limelight it will still need sober and critical post-election evaluation because there were signs, once again, of leaks in the system.

The Trump team went on the offensive looking for incidents of electoral fraud and misconduct.   An elections protection team was established asking for incidents to be reported with a lawsuit was filed in Navada on the conduct of Friday’s early voting.  Meanwhile, civil rights groups organised themselves to prevent legitimate voters from being denied their right to vote – concerned about voter confusion and intimidation from Trump supporters……

Read the full blog here.

The US election won’t be rigged – but the system has to be fixed

53d74-votingrightsThere are commonly warnings about electoral irregularities in advance of US Presidential elections.  In 2016, however, these warnings are starker than ever before.  I wrote this for The Conversation about whether the decentralised nature of US elections helps or hinders the possibility of things going wrong:

Donald Trump’s claims that the US presidential election will be rigged have rightly been met with outrage and derision. Hillary Clinton called his remarks “horrifying”; incumbent president, Barack Obama, responded that: “there is no serious person out there who would suggest that you could even rig the election.”

He’s not far wrong. Expert assessments have repeatedly demonstrated that voter fraud is exceptionally rare (as is also the case in the UK, by the way). Instead, claims of voter fraud are often made for more disingenuous reasons…..

Read the full blog here

Donald Trump, Brexit and Electoral Fraud

16471528757_b86c01b734_bAs the US Presidential election reaches an exciting final few days, I wrote this piece for the Washington Post.  It focuses on Donald Trump’s accusations that the election will be rigged, and the similar claims that were made in the UK before the Brexit referendum:

How is Donald Trump’s presidential campaign like the Brexit vote last June in which British voters decided to leave the European Union?

In many, many ways, as commentators have noted.

Both are right-wing populist movements that have beaten expectations. Both Trump and Brexit leaders have drawn support from largely white, older, “left-behind” voters unhappy with the political establishment. Immigration has been a big issue on both sides of the Atlantic. And although there are important differences — one being that Trump appears unlikely to prevail on Election Day — Trump went so far as to call himself “Mr. Brexit” over the summer.

Read the piece in full, here.