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Mitch Perry Report for 8.9.16 – On a “rigged” election

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Last week (perhaps coincidentally as his poll numbers began dropping precipitously), Donald Trump suggested that the general presidential election this fall could be “rigged.” In Ohio last week, Trump said that he has heard “more and more” that the November election will be rigged — suggesting to his supporters that the outcome of the election is out of the hands of voters.

That prospect has been further promulgated by one of Trump’s biggest supporters in the media, Sean Hannity. The Fox News host cites the fact that in Philadelphia in 2012 in 59 voting precincts, Mitt Romney didn’t get a single vote, “proof” that the vote was rigged for Obama.

But as CNN’s Brian Seltzer reported on Sunday, it’s a fact that Romney didn’t get a vote there, just like Barack Obama failed to gain a single vote in certain voting districts in Utah.

The ultimate slam on Hannity, however, came from Ryan Godfrey, the elections inspector in Philadelphia. In a series of Tweets issued in Sunday night, Godfrey went off, beginning with this initial salvo: “Claim that 59 divisions in Philadelphia engaged in electoral fraud in 2012 because no votes for Romney is absurd & personally insulting.”

He then sent off a series of further tweets, which you can read here at Philly.com.

Meanwhile, back in the Sunshine State, Chris Chambless, the president of the Florida State Association of Supervisors of Elections, answered in his own way to the idea that the Florida count could be altered in anyway.

“Recently there have been several stories regarding potential vulnerabilities of U.S. voting systems to cyberattacks,” Chambless says. “This issue is a matter of national security, however it is important to note that there is no indication from federal law enforcement (security agencies, U.S. Dept. of Justice) to state election officials that any credible threat currently exists when it comes to the issue of hacking elections. While the security of voting systems is a top priority for election professionals across the state of Florida, recent enhancements to Florida voting systems have dramatically reduced exposures to hacking elections.”

Look, there are lots of folks who think elections are “stolen,” and when we had our recount here in 2000, it got pretty ugly. Some people say that there is no such thing as a “perfect” election, and it can be unsavory to look at the mechanics of how sometimes we count the votes. So, there’s always that possibility, and it shouldn’t be discounted out of hand. But you’ve got to have some solid facts at your hand, not just toss out such suggestions without much proof.

In other news..

Hillary Clinton came to St. Petersburg on Monday. Our report from the Coliseum.

Tim Canova says he’s about to file an FEC complaint against Debbie Wasserman Schultz. He claims many of the emails released by WikiLeaks from the DNC show she illegally utilized the resources with the Democratic National Committee to “undermine his campaign.”

Marco Rubio is scheduled to address a religious conference on Thursday in Orlando that a lot of LGBT groups say traffic in hate. Now, Patrick Murphy has joined the choir, and says Rubio shouldn’t go.

The Progressive Democratic Caucus has posted a list of many of the candidates they’re backing on Aug. 30, including Sean Shaw in the HD 61 race.

And an ethics complaint filed against Hillsborough County PTC Chairman Victor Crist has been rejected by the State Commission on Ethics.

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served as five years as the political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. He also was the assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley. He's a San Francisco native who has now lived in Tampa for 15 years and can be reached at mitch.perry@floridapolitics.com.

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