Will the U.S. Presidential Election Be Rigged?

Good morning Hank it’s Tuesday, today I want
to talk about the rigging of U.S. Presidential elections, so travel back with me to the election
of 2004, where incumbent republican George W. Bush defeated democrat John Kerry. Across the country, Bush received about 3
million more votes that year than Kerry did, but of course the popular vote doesn’t matter
in U.S. presidential elections, because of the electoral college. This is a strange and anachronistic feature
of our presidential elections explained in detail by CGP Grey here, but quick overview:
Every state is allotted a certain number of electoral votes based on congressional representation. So, every state has two senators, so they
get two electoral votes, and from there it’s decided by population. Like, California has 55 electoral votes, whereas
Montana has 3. Right, so, most states—there are of course
exceptions because nothing is ever easy in U.S. politics—allot their electoral votes
to the candidate who gets the most votes in that state; a candidate needs 270 total electoral
college votes to win, and because you might win some states by a wide margin and lose
others very narrowly, it is possible to win the popular vote in the country but lose the
election. In fact, that’s how George W. Bush was elected
in 2000. Also, if 3 or more candidates get some electoral
votes and that prevents any one candidate from getting a majority of electoral votes,
the President is actually chosen by the U.S. House of Representatives. This has happened a couple times in U.S. history,
including in 1826, when Congress chose John Quincy Adams to become President, even though
Andrew Jackson had received more votes. Anyway, if you’re thinking all of this sounds
bananas, I agree. But one of the few even arguable upsides to
the electoral college is that it makes U.S. Presidential elections extremely hard to rig,
because we’re not actually having one election: We are having 51 elections, each governed
by the separate states. But in fact, it’s even more complicated than
that, because in every state, counties and townships have their own elections with their
own independent oversight, so we’re having thousands of elections. And this massively decentralized system protects
against widespread fraud. So back to 2004. There’s not much question that George W. Bush
won the most votes in that election. The question is Ohio. Kerry lost Ohio by about 118,000 votes. If he’d won, he would’ve been elected President,
and lots of people on the left (including, by many accounts, John Kerry himself) believed
that voter suppression and possible ballot fraud essentially rigged that election. Like, there was a Rolling Stone cover story
about it; you can still find blogs making the case. The claim goes like this: Ohio’s secretary
of state, who oversees elections, was a Republican who engineered long lines at polling places. Also, he purged voters from the rolls, and
failed to get the names of 25% of newly registered voters to polling places. And also somehow 150,000 votes in rural Ohio
were switched from Kerry to Bush, possibly via hacking electronic polling machines, possibly
via physically altering ballots. Here’s what actually happened: 25% of newly
registered voters did have to fill out provisional ballots, which is ridiculous and speaks to
how poorly the Ohio election was run that year. However, almost exactly half of those people
cast their ballots for George W. Bush. The voter rolls were purged because they are
required by law to be purged, because people die and/or move. Actually, I guess I don’t really need the
and/or there. Mostly they just die or move. Right, also, none of the 150,000 purportedly
switched votes was actually switched. There were, however, long lines at polling
places, which did disenfranchise voters, but not in a way that would’ve affected the outcome
of Ohio’s Presidential election. The 2004 Ohio election was poorly run, and
it did not reflect the ideals of our democracy, but it also did not steal the election from
John Kerry. Like, the democratic party’s own investigation
concluded, “Despite the problems on Election Day, there is no evidence from our survey
that John Kerry won the state of Ohio.” But of course, that report was written months
later. The morning after the election, John Kerry
still believed he might’ve won, and he was furious with the partisanship he saw in the
Ohio election, but nonetheless, he called George W. Bush and conceded. This is one of the central tenets of our country:
We have fair elections where the outcomes are trusted—broadly if not universally—and
when power changes hands, it does so peacefully. Like, it’s sometimes said that the greatest
moment of George Washington’s presidency was its final moment, when he handed the office
over to John Adams and created a precedent for how American leaders would cede power. To paraphrase something George W. Bush said
recently, in American history, the office of the Presidency is always more important
than the person who holds it. Now, none of this is to say that our elections
are perfect. Like, voter suppression has been a hallmark
of U.S. voting, and suppression efforts have disproportionately targeted systemically disadvantaged
voters—the poor, initially, and then when the franchise was extended, women and people
of color. Even today, there are many political strategies
for suppressing voters. But voter suppression, which is real, is not
the same thing as widespread fraud, which is not. In most states, observers from both major
political parties monitor poll workers to prevent official fraud, and fraud among voters
is incredibly rare in the United States. With very few exceptions, people do not vote
when they are not allowed to, or impersonate voters, or vote multiple times, or vote when
they are dead. The voter rolls often include dead or otherwise
ineligible people, because the rolls aren’t kept up to date or purged often enough, but that
does not mean fraudulent votes will be cast. Like, you may have heard that in-person voter
fraud is as uncommon in the United States as dying from a lightning strike. But that’s just not true. In the past 14 years, there have been 31 substantiated
cases of in-person voter fraud in U.S. elections, and 36 people have been killed by lightning
this year alone. Now, fraud via absentee ballots is somewhat
more common because it’s easier to fill out someone’s ballot if it’s mailed in, but
it is not widespread and it is not systematic. You might hear about a study showing that
6.4% of non-citizens living in the United States voted in 2008; that study has been
thoroughly debunked. You may have heard that certain voting machines
can be easily rigged; that is just not true. And you may have heard that voting machines
owned by liberal George Soros will be used in 16 states this year. In fact, George Soros has no ownership stake
in the company in question, Smartmatic, and furthermore Smartmatic machines will be used
in zero states in 2016. By the way, links to nonpartisan sources in
the dooblydoo, as usual. So the U.S. Presidential election will not
be rigged, any more than the one in 2004 was. What’s different now is that one of the major
party Presidential candidates is loudly and consistently claiming that the election will
be rigged, that there will be widespread voter fraud, that people may vote 10 times, that
undocumented immigrants will vote, and on and on and on. These are all simply lies. They are not substantiated in any way, and
normalizing those conspiracy theories frankly scares the crap out of me, because it means
fewer Americans will trust our elections even when they are free and fair. I guess I understand that fearmongering is
part of U.S. politics, but undermining the legitimacy of our political institutions without
cause isn’t. Hearing that unfounded rhetoric from a Presidential
candidate is a new and disturbing development in American political discourse, so I want
to be very clear. Your vote will count. The election will not be rigged. If you’re fortunate enough to be an eligible
voter in the United States of America, please make your voice heard. Hank, I’ll see you on Friday.

About the author


  1. Voting machines are not easily rigged. Here we have someone who doesn't understand just how stupid and dangerous voting machines are

    edit: Also interestingly none of your sources back up your claim that voting machines are safe

  2. The election WAS RIGGED! It was rigged through Crosscheck! Through Voter ID laws! And through outright intimidation by people like Karen Handel: https://youtu.be/-qxWS1f7ZtY?t=14m4s

  3. I'm from the future John. It isn't Trump that said it was rigged, it was everybody on the left with you lol

  4. Thanks john. These videos are why I subscribe to vlogbrothers. The work you and your brother do is invaluable to a person like me.

  5. There's a saying out there. It goes like this. "Democracy is like two wolves and a sheep deciding what's for dinner" the wolves being the big states, the sheep being the small states. If the electoral college didn't exsist, America would be chaotic.The United States is not a democracy, and never has been! WE ARE A CONSTITUTIONAL REPUBLIC!

    Why do you guys have to be so damned liberal? You are teaching kids to be biased and not to look at true facts.

  6. 'IF' you can't figure out how the electoral college is RIGGED you shouldn't be allowed to post videos about it . BECAUSE "YOU ARE TOO STUPID TO KNOW HOW TO VOTE !"

  7. Sorry, but this is a bit naive and glosses over other factors. Oh well, can't bat 1,000. Well, you can, but it's am unreasonable expectation.

  8. So it looks like you can't rig U.S presidential election (Democrats) (Russia), BUT it looks like you CAN rig the Democratic party's electoral process. Democrats Lie, Democrats Lie, Democrats Lie… Democrats Lie. I'm Looking at you Hillary.

  9. If the college didn’t exist. Campaign would only run and speak in New York California Florida. And ignore the rest

  10. But you can have the FBI frame our presidential candidate of treason, and continues to attack him with fake evidence after he won the election. Oh yeah, ask Bernie Sanders how he was treated.

    Yes, your vote will count, but it will be countered by dead people, illegal immigrants and dogs.

    Nice try you liberal hack!

  11. Let's address the facts that President Obama has repeatedly urged illegal immigrants to vote . He told them that they cannot be stopped from voting.

  12. I’m just gonna say it. John Green, you are a hypocrite who uses well edited and reasonable sounding language and biased, good looking graphics to make your specific progressive agenda look sound, reasonable and middle of the road. You make this video denouncing someone for questioning the election and ASSURE us of the elections legitimacy only to go on and try to legitimize the Russian election interference conspiracy theory. Frankly I find it repugnant and the amount of young people on this platform who take your word as absolute truth needs to change because you are simply a con man with a very well tailored image and a good grasp of political subtlety. I hope and pray people stop taking you seriously on all matters political.

  13. All liberals who think the 2016 election was "rigged" just listen to your bonehead president Obama. Anybody who thinks our elections could possibly be rigged no it's not possible. The first time I ever heard Obama make sense.

  14. why are YOU AMERICANS SO FUCKING STUPID? YOUR elections were rigged the moment your so called founding fathers decided upon the method of electing a presiden and the creation of the senate. George Washington sais: "we can't possibly allow ordinary people and the riff raff to choose whomever they want to rule this country". Hence the electoral college system, it will guarantee the victory of the establishment figure. And if that fails the senate will see to it that the choice of people shall never succeed in carrying out any of his policies. How difficult is it for you idiotic Americans to see the total mockery of the democratic principals when Wyoming with 560,000 people has two senators and California with 55 million population also has 2 senators. you can't be so fucking thick, it's not possible.

  15. Is anyone filing complaints with The Dept Of Justice to stop Felchbook, Jewgle, Twatter, and JewTube from silencing The Right? Isn't this a form of election rigging?

    Isn't that one of the functions of The First Amendment, the freedom to advocate who we want in office?


  16. Repukes rigged the election ever since Reagan there crooked liars thats why i quit voting when Trump won never again

  17. "It's possible to win the popular vote and lose the electoral college." Gah we know this better now than we used to. Ouch.

  18. So how can you prove a rigged diabolt that flips votes? Elections too important and too much money to be made to allow the people of the United States to to decide.

  19. i dont believe in voting. i believe it to be rigged like casino's. i dont vote. nor do i ever plan to. this is as far as me paying attention to polotics goes. just this video and 2 other videos about rigged voting machines. thats it im done. i dont wanna talk about polotics for the remainder of the year

  20. Id like to see an update to this video in light of the clinton corruption that was exposed despite her colossal failure.

  21. Anybody got a reverse card from UNO?

    Trump: Election will be rigged

    Also Trump: Election Wasn’t Rigged

    Hillary: Election won’t be rigged

    Also Hillary: Election was rigged

  22. This video is garbage because it's old + not true. Voting machines are apparently hackable. Technology is not always a good thing.
    Any progressive presidential candidate will probably be screwed over so that things won't get much better after the 2020 election. Chances are the winner will be bought + paid for by lobbyist. I am disheartened by what this country has evolved into.
    We need to return to paper ballots + eliminate the electoral college. One person one vote. Lets go old school to end voting corruption.
    Rant over.

  23. I will prepare 4 powerful judgement bowls that will affect everyone who attempts to rig the 2020 elections the bowls will affect every single person on Earth who attempt to rig it this includes by seeding false polls in people and voters minds fake polls those who are supposed to endure the elections are accurate computer software programmers every one in gov military tech these judgement bowl will litterateur ensure that the people mention have no involvement in the elections and even Barr them through the energy itself

  24. The first judgement bowl will be a mix all at 100% power the chicken Nervous breakdown panic attack hell paranoia, the second judgement bowl will be Catatonia every single attempt to try to cheat through tech or any other method will trigger the judgements the third judgment will be the fear of God

  25. The final judgement will be the lake of fire it will become active for an entire 6 months before the election and 6 months after the judgement will start engulfing the US first then Israel then the rest of the world

  26. In meeting with precinct delegates in Michigan, they astounded me with tales of their experiences in Detroit monitoring the recount demanded by Jill Stein on the 2016 Presidential election. They saw election workers taking ballots from reliable Democratic districts and run them through the scanners two or three times. Detroit never could get the vote tally or the Ballot counts to correlate as most areas. When you see districts reporting over 100% voting participation you can be assured the election administrators put a thumb on the scale. As Stalin reportedly stated, he believes in free elections so long as he counts the votes.

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