Voter fraud has been a hot topic issue this year with the 2020 election coming up fast. Both sides of the aisle seem to agree that it’s something worth looking into. This is especially true for many republicans who have warned about it more and more as November approaches. President Donald Trump has been especially vocal about the issue, worrying about mail fraud in particular.
But just what is “voter fraud” exactly? Depending on who you ask the definition can be quite specific or quite broad. This article is going to embrace the broader definition in that voter fraud entails intentional corruption of an upcoming election in any way, be it by mail (which is statistically a very rare occurrence) or otherwise.
While voters themselves are capable of voter fraud, so are those who attempt to manipulate them. With Russia doing its best to step up their game since messing with the election in 2016, other groups are taking similar interest. According to Politico, “American, Chinese and Iranian copycats are now pumping out falsehoods likely to seed the same divisions and doubts about the legitimacy of the election, often mimicking tactics first deployed by the Kremlin.”
However, the real problem may lie within Americans themselves. As they continue to buy into various conspiracy theories, gather in groups to spread misinformation, and often cause chaos just for fun as “trolls”, they seem to be doing a lot of foreign attackers’ work for them. The QAnon conspiracy is a good example of this, a conspiracy that president Trump has refused to discredit, and in fact shows support for due to the fact that QAnon works in his favor. Democrats have raised concern over the issue repeatedly, warning that this blatant election interference is a warning sign of a deep rooted issue in the internet’s role in American politics.
Meanwhile Republicans have their own complaints. Recent suspicions against the Chinese owned app Tik Tok are a good example of this. They claim that the app may be used by China to affect the election on top of collecting data from users all over the globe.
“TikTok has become a popular forum for Americans—particularly younger Americans—to engage in political conversations,” Cotton and his colleagues wrote. “I’m greatly concerned that the CCP could use its control over TikTok to distort or manipulate these conversations to sow discord among Americans and to achieve its preferred political outcomes.”– Republican Lawmakers in a joint letter to the FBI.
The biggest concern lurking in the dark, however, seems to be the imminent threat of a full on cyber attack/hacking before the election. Like what happened with Hillary Clinton’s leaked emails, National Security experts are on high alert for another explosive bombshell against either campaign. Most of them admit that despite them doing everything they can to try and prevent this, it’s still highly probable that something could occur as it did in 2016. Until then we can only hope for this worst case scenario to not come to pass, as it would mean a further increase in the already large lack of faith in American Democracy’s ability to remain safe from intervention.