Elections supervisor denies Trump's claim of a rigged election

- We've heard Donald Trump say, time and time again, that "the system is rigged." The Republican presidential nominee is now saying he believes the election itself could be rigged.

Trump made the claim last week at a rally and has since repeated it during interviews, three weeks before of the primary election and three months away from the general election.

"I'm telling you, November 8th, we'd better be careful because that election is going to be rigged and I hope the Republicans are watching closely or it's going to be taken away from us," Trump said while being interviewed by Sean Hannity.

Trump's comments follow recent federal court rulings against voter ID laws in several states. "People are going to walk in and vote 10 times, maybe," Trump said while speaking to Bill O'Reilly.

Though, he hasn't detailed how the election could be rigged on a nationwide scale.

"Of course the elections will not be rigged. What does that mean?" President Barack Obama responded at a news conference. "The federal government doesn't run the election process. If Mr. Trump is suggesting that there is a conspiracy theory that is being propagated across the country, that's ridiculous. That doesn't make any sense."

Here in Florida, the process in the hands of County Supervisors of Elections. Right now, officials are testing their equipment, saying they are determined make sure the voting process is run with integrity.

"In the state of Florida, you've got 67 counties. You've got 67 Supervisors of Elections that all run the elections in their individual county. None of these counties are interconnected in any way," said Craig Latimer, Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections.

Monday, Chris Chambless, the President of the Florida State Association of Supervisors of Elections sent out a letter saying, "There's no indication from federal law enforcement (security agencies, U.S. Dept. of Justice) that any credible threat currently exists when it comes to the issue of hacking elections."

He reminded voters that Florida is a paper ballot state, "which means that we can always refer to the paper ballot in the event of a disruption, with the exception of touchscreens for voters with disabilities."

If they want to, voters can check results for themselves. "In Florida, because all of our voter records are public record, anyone can request those and we have people that do," Latimer said. "They can go through there and match up the number of voters to the number of votes we say we had."
 
In Hillsborough County, voters must show one out of twelve possible types of identification. A tablet checking in voters will recognize immediately if a voter has already cast a ballot. As far as hacking concerns, Latimer says electronic voting servers are, by law, not connected via intranet of Internet.

"To take information off of here, we have to do it with a thumb drive," Latimer said. "Nothing is connected. So, there is no connection to the outside world."

"I don't know what the definition of 'rigged' is," Latimer said. "I just know that we have really open, transparent and good elections where we are able to balance and account for everything we do."

Tuesday at 11 a.m., Hillsborough County is conducting logic and accuracy testing of its ballot scanning equipment to make sure votes are being counted correctly.

The testing will take place at the Robert L. Gilder Elections Service Center, 2514 N. Falkenburg Rd., Tampa, FL 33619. This meeting is held in accordance with FS101.5612 and is open to the public.

 

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