Examples Of Voter Fraud Are Already Popping Up Online & Here's What They Look Like
Donald Trump has pushed a lot of rhetoric about voter fraud in the last few months leading up to the election, but what he's talking about isn't the type of voter fraud you should be worried about. In person voter fraud is so uncommon that it's statistically insignificant, but some examples of voter fraud have been popping up online that might have an actual impact on the election. Voter fraud doesn't look like people returning to the polls in disguise, it looks like people spreading misinformation that will keep people out of the polls all together.
An image widely circulated online Monday reveals what kind of fraud might actually influence the election by making people stay out of the polls. The image tells people that residents of Pennsylvania can vote online by posting "Hillary" with the hashtag #PresidentialElection between 7:00 a.m. and 9 p.m. on Election Day. This, of course, is completely untrue — online voting currently isn't an option in the United States due to safety concerns. Although there's no evidence that the picture was started as an intentional attempt to keep people from voting, people have allegedly been spreading it to do just that. However, even when shared as a joke, this isn't funny. Denying someone their right to vote through duplicitous means is fraudulent and un-American, because everyone deserves to have a political voice.
This fraud in particular is scary because Pennsylvania is such an important state in the election this year. Although the Keystone State hasn't voted Republican since Reagan, Trump is tentatively predicted to take Pennsylvania and its 20 electoral votes thanks to strong support in the more rural Western part of the state. Any Clinton supporters who think it's safe to stay home because they think they can vote online could cost her the state, which, unlike in-person voter fraud, would have a real and measurable impact on the election. As much as Trump talks about the "rigged" election, this is the worst evidence of rigging so far.
As one online commentator pointed out, there was the smallest, tiniest modicum of truth to the picture — Pennsylvania does offer online voter registration. However, there are no states where you can vote online, and certainly not through social media. The only way to vote is by going into your local polling place and casting your ballot in person. Make sure to do just that on Nov. 8 so you can have your say in this election.