Trump's obsession with bogus 'voter fraud' allegations is like holding a match to 'dry kindling'
Fergus Cullen, the former chairman of the New Hampshire Republican Party, speaks for many of us: "People hold riots after their favorite football team loses the Super Bowl. […] There's just no telling what people will do when they're incited to it. We've never been in a situation like this, where there's so much dry kindling across the landscape and we've got someone all too willing to light the match."
Trump has been back in New Hampshire and is once again railing with the lie that voter fraud in that state robbed him of winning there in 2016. "New Hampshire should have been won last time," he told reporters on Aug. 15, on his way to a campaign rally, "except we had a lot of people come in at the [last] moment, which was a rather strange situation. Thousands and thousands of people coming in from locations unknown. But I knew where their location was." Where Trump "knows" they came from is left unanswered. Probably Mexico.
It's absolutely not true. The state's secretary of state’s and attorney general's offices reviewed the 6,033 voters who cast ballots without proof of a New Hampshire address and verified that the vast majority of them did reside in the state. "It is just not accurate" to claim that thousands of people voted illegally in New Hampshire, Secretary of State Bill Gardner told The Washington Post. But that doesn't mean Trump supporters aren't as deluded as he is.
One, Randal Heller, an activist Trump supporter who calls himself independent, "said he overheard college students waiting for a polling location to open and worrying that their photograph might be taken. Heller said he shared his concerns with state Republicans." Whether or not it's actually true—and state officials have found absolutely no corroboration—Heller is pushing the story, saying, "It raises suspicion that perhaps they are not entitled to be voting in the state of New Hampshire." It's not helping when the Republican Gov. Chris Sununu says that the 2016 election can't be called stolen only because all these college students who should not have been allowed to vote did vote legally. "Look, they didn’t steal it because the laws allowed them to," he said on a radio show in January. "We had these very gray, amorphous laws that allowed it to happen. Did they do anything illegal? No, I don’t think they did anything illegal. I think we just had these loopholes that existed, and they exploited it."
That's changed. The state passed new residency requirements that amount to a poll tax on college student voters. Nonetheless, Trump's supporters in New Hampshire—and across the country—are that "dry kindling" Cullen warned about. If Trump loses New Hampshire again, he's going to cry voter fraud again, and who knows how his supporters will react? The nation has to be prepared for it.