The US presidential elections have thrown all sorts of surprises for Americans and the global community. This election has already set records of American participation in presidential elections of the last 120 years. Both the highest and second highest records have been set in this election. The total registered voters in #Election2020 are approximately 161 million in number, out of which, as per current counts shown on the networks, 71 million are for Trump and 75 million for Biden. That means that 90% of all registered voters voted for just those two presidential candidates. In 2016, 86.8% of registered voters had voted. In 2020, going by media reporting so far, the increase in registered voters is almost 4%.

There are 239.2 million eligible voters in the United States, out of which 161 million were registered voters in 2020. Out of those 161 million registered voters, 101.9 million voted early nationwide through mail-in ballots. In several states, early ballots exceeded the total number of votes cast in 2016. The number of absentee ballots also broke the record set in the 2016 elections. Republican voters preferred voting in person over mail-in ballots while absentee ballots were three times more for the Democrats. 352 US counties in 29 states claimed 1.8 million registered voters more than even citizens of eligible voting age. 8 states—Alaska, Colorado, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Vermont—exceeded voter registrations over the eligible voting population. The numbers ran as high as 187% in TX, 177% in NM and 171% in SD.

The problem of ghost voting has been acute in key battleground states where dead people have voted through absentee ballots. Needless to say that election officials in many states are responsible for this big corruption in the American elections. Was it by design or pure neglect? Who is responsible? All these questions will have to be revealed through FBI investigation through courts.

Hacking of voting machines can definitely not be ruled out at this juncture. Dominion Voting Systems have been used in almost thirty American states, Canada and Puerto Rico. It’s a Canadian firm providing machines and software for American elections. The software has been developed in Siberia, Canada and the USA as per public sources such as Wikipedia. There have been reports of glitches in their software, and the FBI needs to look deeper into those glitches or possible hacks through American State enemies. According to some rumors, all the votes cast for Trump have been reported to show as Biden votes in some key battleground states such as Michigan. Was it a glitch or a deliberate hack by Chinese and Russians? That needs to be established through investigations. The state election officials also could not catch these glaring inconsistencies while deploying those machines. State election officials in San Diego county in California were found encouraging all voters to manually vote despite these machines being present in the voting centers. Was this a norm in other key battleground states where manual voting was encouraged over electronic voting?

The American Electoral College will announce the results for the American elections after all legal challenges and questions by both campaigns have been satisfactorily resolved. Until then, the announcement of results by networks has no official sanction and is generally considered propaganda. The premature celebration by the Biden-Harris campaign is just another campaign. There hurriedness in which they announced themselves as elected reeks of conspiracy by their campaigns and media networks. Is that a ploy by the Democrats to raise the expectations of their followers now and then create disturbance in the society when those expectations are not met through official results? Basically, trusting Americans have gotten the jolt of Third World election experiences. Booth capture used to be a norm in the Indian elections three decades ago. In 2020, the American elections appear to be facing the same, albeit in a very sophisticated manner. The first stage was the suppression of voter rolls, then the use of software, then the mail-in ballots and, finally, the media networks.

In short, ghost polling, mail-in ballots, election software hacks/glitches, inconsistencies in voter rolls have made American #Election2020 a nightmare for the credibility of American politics and democracy for the foreseeable future. Now onwards, Americans will never be able to project their democratic credentials anywhere in the world without being questioned on their electoral process.

The writer is the founder and chairman of Sentinel of Dharma PAC and an advocate for the interests of the Indian-American community. The views expressed are personal.