President Donald Trump is being labeled a bitter loser. After a close and divided election, lawsuits have been filed in Pennsylvania overextended deadlines and observers, Michigan over lack of transparency, Georgia over late ballots, and Nevada over machine verification. Essentially, the lawsuits amount to allegations of systemic corruption and voter fraud that could have cost Trump the election.
Yet while even if victorious the lawsuits may not overturn the current projected election results, they will certainly expose cracks in our imperfect system. Indeed, we can move to collectively improve future elections and begin restoring faith and confidence in government and its institutions only if such malfeasance and shortcomings are exposed.
Trump is a Washington outsider, fighting to “drain the swamp” and change the status quo. Successful or not, these lawsuits could be his biggest legacy yet to root out corruption.
Government corruption and voter fraud are real. Last year alone, there were 32 voter fraud convictions, such as buying votes, fraudulent use of absentee ballots, and providing illegal “assistance” at the polls. In one notable case adjudicated this year, Domenick J. Demuro, a former Philadelphia judge of elections, was convicted for accepting bribes to cast fraudulent ballots and certify false voting results during the 2014, 2015, and 2016 primary elections. In context, these cases inflame the growing sentiment of distrust and loss of confidence in the government and its institutions.
While the number of convictions seems small and the example appears isolated compared to the approximately 150 million votes cast over hundreds of thousands of polling places, like most crimes, it is estimated that the government is only catching and convicting a tiny fraction of actual voter fraud. Furthermore, with mass mail-in ballots the possibility of voter fraud increases.