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TMZ Talked to Election Officials and Allegedly Uncovered Fraud Concerns. UPDATE: Non-Profit ProPublica Challenges Those Claims

Posted by on Oct. 27, 2016 at 11:11 AM
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During the final presidential debate, Donald Trump again brought his claims of a “rigged” election to the forefront.

The GOP nominee's claims were swiftly slammed as “horrifying” by his opponent Hillary Clinton, while President Obama called them outright “dangerous.”

Much of the media has also taken a harsh, even dismissive stance on the idea that the results of the 2016 election could be rigged:

As so many focus on the potential aftermath of the election, however, one news source decided to do some digging into Trump's claims — and it's not one you'd likely expect.

Hollywood gossip and news site TMZ reached out to several elections officials across the U.S. and reports that fraudulent voting is a very real concern:

Nick LaLota, Suffolk County NY Board of Elections Commissioner, tells TMZ he's expecting 500,000 people to show up at voting booths on Nov. 8th, and he concedes signature verification compromises the integrity of the voting process. He says it will be hard to know who votes when they shouldn't.

Marcy Crawford, Deputy Commissioner of the Board of Elections for Allegany County, tells us voter fraud in her county is a real concern. She says everyone's talking about it in her office.

John Arntz, Director of Elections in San Francisco, says the way their system works ... voters show up at the polling place, announce their name to the polling place worker, who then checks the voting rolls and reads a corresponding address. If the voter says, 'That's my address,' he or she gets a ballot. Arntz concedes that it leaves the system open to fraud.

One significant area of concern is signature verification, a method used in some states that do not require citizens to provide ID before casting a vote.

In these instances, the burden falls on the poll worker — many of whom are volunteers — to quickly match an individual's signature with one that has previously been provided, a task often left to experts:

Another area of growing concern centers on progressive billionaire George Soros.

As Fox News reports, Soros — who has donated more than $25 million to the 2016 campaigns of Hillary Clinton and other Democrats — also has ties to the company that provided balloting equipment to 16 states across the U.S.:

For what it's worth, WikiLeaks has also long maintained that the U.S. elections are rigged, most recently pointing to evidence in Clinton's hacked emails.Despite these concerns, many in the media still argue that the idea of a rigged election is nothing more than a “myth.”Such claims aside, however, the report from TMZ does seem to make one thing clear: there do appear to be very real loopholes in the American voting process

UPDATE [10/27/2016, 9:05 a.m. EST] — Investigative journalism nonprofit ProPublica reached out to the election officials TMZ had allegedly quoted and reported that:

Two of the three election officials the story cites told us TMZ attributes things to them they did not say, and that they have no concerns whatsoever about the possibility of voter fraud.

TMZ has not yet responded to the findings.

by on Oct. 27, 2016 at 11:11 AM
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