Donald Trump spent most of Election Day raising the specter of voter fraud, calling the nation’s elections a “rigged system” and claiming that voting machines were malfunctioning all over the country. But election watchers say the reality was much less titillating.
While some countries and precincts reported problems with broken machines, long lines and isolated incidents of kooky behavior, there was no evidence of widespread malfeasance.
On Tuesday evening, Trump cited CNN in a tweet claiming that Utah officials had reported “voting machine problems across entire country.” CNN’s Jake Tapper quickly fact-checked the claim, pointing out that Utah officials had reported machine problems across a county, not the whole country.
“It’s the difference of an ‘r’ but kind of an important one,” Tapper said on air.
Earlier in the day, Trump told Tampa Bay News Radio, WFLA, that fraud was “legendary” in this election and again suggested that the results of today’s vote will not be fair.
The Election Protection Coalition, a nonpartisan voter protection coalition, which tracks issues in and around polling places nationwide, told reporters during a call Tuesday that it had no evidence of major, nationwide problems of fraud or nefarious behavior—legendary or otherwise.
The coalition, led by the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, has received thousands of calls from voters raising concerns about very long lines, broken machines, a dearth of Justice Department election monitors and a problem with disabled voting machines in Durham County, North Carolina,
On Tuesday, a bipartisan group pushed to extending voting hours in Durham County due to the technological issues. “The Durham County Board of Elections — made up of two Republicans and one Democrat — has agreed that voting hours must be extended due to technical problems that occurred earlier today,” Hillary for America Campaign Manager Robby Mook said in a statement. “We are urging the North Carolina Board of Elections to heed this bipartisan call and approve this urgent measure so that every voter can have their voice heard.”
Election Protection Coalition representatives also said they were looking into an incident where a vigilante poll watcher refused to leave a polling place n Jacksonville, Florida, and other isolated reports of voter intimidation.
“We’re going to see how things play out today and hopefully they’ll play out well, and hopefully we don’t have to worry about it, meaning hopefully we win,” he said. “I want to see if everything’s honest … hopefully everything’s going to be on the straight and up.”
When Fox host Martha MacCallum asked Trump about his feelings on the peaceful transition of power, the Republican candidate interrupted her.
“Well, I love it. I do love it. I think it’s important, I think it’s very powerful,” he said, then launched into a litany of allegations describing a system that was rigged to favor his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton.
“I’ve been talking about the whole rigged system for al long time,” he said, “and in many ways it really is a rigged system.”