Rigging an election nearly impossible, and costly to attempt, officials say

Posted at 6:46 PM, Oct 17, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-17 20:46:17-04

SALT LAKE CITY -- The problem with rigging a U.S. election system is there is no system to rig.

National elections are an aggregation of about 8,000 jurisdictions: counties, cities, parishes, all counting votes of their local constituents, according to a report from the Presidential Commission on Election Administration issued in 2013.

Individual voter fraud, meaning one person trying to vote more than once, or in the wrong jurisdiction, is more possible, but seems to be a rare crime, according to the Brennan Center at the New York University College of Law.

According to a 2007 report entitled, “The Truth About Voter Fraud,” there have been a handful of verified instances of attempts at voter fraud, “but by any measure, voter fraud is extraordinarily rare.”

The Brennan report states voter fraud is a crime that makes no sense for the person committing it.

The report goes on to state the following:

 “In part, this is because fraud by individual voters is a singularly foolish and ineffective way to attempt to win an election. Each act of voter fraud in connection with a federal election risks five years in prison and a $10,000 fine, in addition to any state penalties.18 In return, it yields at most one incremental vote. That single extra vote is simply not worth the price.”

Utah Director of Elections Mark Thomas said vote rigging in Utah would be nearly impossible and any attempt would have to be on a very small scale.

“None of the equipment is linked in to the network or to the internet, so it's nearly impossible to do some sort of cyberattack on our election equipment,” Thomas said.

Thomas said the state does extensive, randomized audits before and after the election, testing the accuracy of vote counts.