Louisiana’s chief election officer, Secretary of State Tom Schedler, says voters don’t have to worry about a “rigged election,” and charges his party’s presidential standard bearer, Donald Trump, with “overplaying the fraud card.”
Trump repeatedly has warned of rampant voter fraud that could throw the Nov. 8 election to Hillary Clinton.
“I’m telling you, November 8 (Election Day), we better be careful, because that election is going to be rigged. And I hope the Republicans are watching closely, or it is going to be taken away from us,” Trump warned as early as August and has been focusing on that warning in the last week.
Schedler disagrees that voters need to be watching out for fraud when they vote.
“For (every) 10 complaints, we maybe get one thing of some substance, and usually it is something ridiculously minuscule,” Schedler said.
Schedler recently unveiled a new “I voted" sticker, part of an initiative to encourage voter turnout, features the “blue dog” artwork of late Louisiana artist George Rodrigue and added this prediction:
“This, in my opinion, is something that everyone is going to want. It could be a collectors’ item one day.”
He said sees comments like the ones made by Trump as actively working against his goals of higher voter turnout.
“As an election official, I don’t like it. My job is to make voting operationally easy, practical, efficient, and make it difficult to cheat. So when a candidate or someone of that magnitude says that, it doesn’t help the cause of voter participation.”
Schedler urged anyone feeling skeptical of the validity of the process to call their election official, or his office.
“If you give me 20 or 30 minutes on the phone, or in my office, you’ll walk out a disbeliever in the things you are believing in,” he said.
But fraud warnings aren’t the only thing that might end up dampening turnout in this election, Schedler said. He also pointed to the unpopularity of both Trump and Clinton.
“What are the odds of the two most disliked candidates in each party’s history being the nominee at the same time? It just defies logic.”