CHARLOTTE -- Local political science professor at Catawba College, Dr. Michael Bitzer, says President-elect Donald Trump's recent claims of massive voter fraud undermine a key tenet of American democracy.
“That is - trust in the validity of the voters, who are ultimately making the call,” he said.
Trump alleged on Twitter Sunday during a barrage of tweets that millions of people voted illegally, and that there was widespread “serious voter fraud” in Virginia, New Hampshire and California. Trump did not provide any evidence or proof for any of his claims.
Bitzer says he has never before witnessed a presidential candidate, especially a winning one, raise such serious allegations.
"It’s one thing to say maybe a hundred, maybe a couple hundred ballots could be something classified as voter fraud, but when he says there are millions - that really boggles the mind," Bitzer said. “For him to allege a massive conspiracy with no evidence and no credible source to back that up, really is astounding for somebody who should be focused on putting together his administration for taking office in less than a month and a half.”
Professor of political science at UNC Charlotte, Dr. Eric Heberlig, agrees that such serious allegations have not been seen in a modern election.
“There were some 19th century elections where you had some uncertainty,” he said. “But back then, it was actually legitimate [because] they didn't have the vote counting mechanisms that we do today. It’s not clear how [Trump] benefits at this point by stoking that distrust of government, since he is now going to be heading that government. I think that’s going to be a recurring theme of his administration.”
Trump’s accusations come just days after Green Party candidate Dr. Jill Stein asked for a recount in several key states.