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ben-ginsberg

Ben Ginsberg (left) was co-chair of the 2013 Presidential Commission on Election Administration, a yearlong investigation into voting problems.

Credit: Luke Chen

A top former Republican election lawyer and Penn alum refuted 1968 Wharton graduate and President Donald Trump’s claims that elections are “rigged” and “fraudulent” in an op-ed in The Washington Post on Tuesday.

1974 College graduate Ben Ginsberg and former editor-in-chief of The Daily Pennsylvanian, criticized Trump for urging his supporters to vote twice — once by mail and once in person. Ginsberg, who spent 38 years practicing election law, wrote that there is no evidence of widespread fraud in mail-in voting, as Trump has claimed, and that voting multiple times is illegal.

“The president’s actions — urging his followers to commit an illegal act and seeking to undermine confidence in the credibility of election results — are doubly wrong,” Ginsberg wrote in his op-ed.

Trump encouraged voters to cast their ballots twice in a North Carolina rally last week and made similar claims in a series of tweets encouraging people to mail in ballots as well and then visit polling places, NBC News reported. The White House stated that Trump was only encouraging his supporters to verify that their mail-in ballots had been counted, according to NBC. 

Ginsberg wrote that despite the White House's backtracking, Trump repeated his claims at several more rallies.

"Legions of Republican lawyers have searched in vain over four decades for fraudulent double voting,” Ginsberg wrote. “At long last, they have a blatant example of a major politician urging his supporters to illegally vote twice."

Trump has repeatedly criticized mail-in voting even as his campaign attempts to get his supporters to cast their ballots by mail in November, according to NBC News, and has made several claims that mail-in voting will lead to a “rigged” election against him to the benefit of Democrats.

"The truth is that after decades of looking for illegal voting, there’s no proof of widespread fraud. At most, there are isolated incidents — by both Democrats and Republicans," Ginsberg wrote. "Elections are not rigged."

Several studies have found that there is no partisan advantage in nationwide mail-in voting.

Access to widespread mail-in ballots has become increasingly politicized ahead of the November election, as Democrats push to expand access to mail-in voting to ensure voter safety during the coronavirus pandemic, Politico reported. Trump’s criticism of mail-in balloting, however, has led to mistrust of vote-by-mail initiatives among Republican voters. 

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