Jamiel Shaw Sr. with Donald Trump. Image from video
Jamiel Shaw Sr. with Donald Trump. Image from video

Orange County Registrar of Voters Neal Kelley assured voters Tuesday they could be confident there would be no “vote rigging” of the type GOP presidential Donald Trump has asserted in recent weeks.

“We take voting very seriously, and we protect the ballot,” Kelley told City News Service.

Across the country, elections are “decentralized” and are “fragmented over 3,000 voting jurisdictions,” making it difficult for a conspiracy to change the results of the presidential to succeed, Kelley said.

“The reality is that the system’s being run by the state and local election officials, which are so dispersed,” Kelley said.

Each of the systems across the country have various types of voting machines and differing processes, which “limits the possibility for funny business,” Kelley said.

“I’m very confident in the way California handles voting,” he said, adding that the state’s voter database also “gives me a tremendous level of confidence in the system.”

In addition, the courts act as a backup that can sort through any irregularities after a recount, Kelley said.

“There’s so much protection that voters just don’t see,” Kelley said.

Election fraud is scant in Orange County and elsewhere, he said.

“There have been studies nationwide that show it’s very limited,” Kelley said. “There have been very few cases over millions of millions of ballots cast.”

The county’s voting machines are not online so there’s no way a hacker could flip votes, Kelley said.

“There’s no Internet or network connection to any of the election tabulation systems,” he said. “State law doesn’t allow it.”

Kelley said the voting machines in the county are “dumb terminals” that lack “card slots to insert malicious code.”

Even if a hacker attacked the county’s website, it wouldn’t affect the vote counting, because there’s also a paper ballot as a backup and the votes are not tallied online anyway, Kelley said.

Orange County Supervisor Shawn Nelson said there was “zero percent” chance of election rigging in the county and praised Kelley as the best registrar in the state.

“I’m not kidding when I say he’s the best local election official in the state,” Nelson said. “Neal Kelley is fantastic, so I have zero belief it’s a risk in Orange County. Neal just does an awesome job.”

Whenever there’s been a “political dustup” over election results, Kelley is never blamed for it, Nelson said.

“In every instance, Neal comes out smelling like a rose,” Nelson said. “So, on a local level, there’s zero percent chance (of election rigging) — no way in hell.”

President Barack Obama Tuesday said it was “unprecedented” for any presidential candidate to “discredit the elections and the election process before votes have even taken place” and “based on no facts.” He also pointed out that battleground states like Florida and Ohio are run by Republicans.

California Secretary of State Alex Padilla expressed similar sentiments.

“Assertions that our nation’s elections are rigged are irresponsible at best, and un-American at worst,” Padilla said. “Free, fair and accurate elections are at the very foundation of our democracy. Ensuring every ballot is counted and accounted for is my top priority, and the top priority of all elections officials.”

Padilla added, “Every election, thousands of Californians from across the political spectrum volunteer to work as poll workers and assist voters. County elections officials work tirelessly to ensure that California’s 18.25 million registered voters receive elections materials and can cast a ballot on Election Day.

I have great faith in our county election officials and the many thousands of poll workers who are on the front lines of our democracy,” he said. “I expect Californians will go to the polls on November 8 and cast their ballots free from intimidation — our voters, poll workers, and democracy deserve no less.”

–City News Service 

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