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Oklahoma State Election Board Stands Behind Ballot Accuracy

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OKLAHOMA CITY -

For weeks, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has been alleging the system is rigged against him and suggested during the last debate that he may not concede if he loses.

“I'm saying now is I'll look at it at the time, I'll keep you in suspense,” Trump told moderator Chris Wallace from the debate stage Wednesday night.

Here in Oklahoma, election officials say there's no rigging, and the state has a voting error record of less than one vote per election.

“We're highly confident in the count. I have an exceptionally high confidence in elections in Oklahoma and the accuracy of those elections,” Oklahoma State Election Board secretary Paul Ziriax said.

But that hasn't stopped Trump from asking his supporters to sign up to be poll watchers and alleging widespread voter fraud despite new research showing only 32 accounts of in-person voter fraud in more than a billion votes since 2000.

When recently asked about voter fraud in Oklahoma, an official from the election board could not name any recent cases in the last few election cycles and said “it just doesn’t exist.”

“There's rhetoric I think every election that comes out where one side or the other thinks the system is against them or something like that,” Ziriax said about Trump’s allegations.

 “We have a saying for this on the playground. This is a big baby,” University of Oklahoma political science department chair Keith Gaddie said.

Gaddie said this election cycle isn't like any other. He's spent his life studying elections and said even during the Civil War, an election was held in which both sides agreed to a peaceful transfer of power in the union.

“It is unpatriotic and un-American to attack the elections as being rigged or unfair absent evidence and there's no evidence,” he said.

The laws in Oklahoma about electioneering at a polling location are clear. Anyone not working the election or voting must stay at least 50 feet away from the polling location. If they want to advocate for one side or the other, they must be at least 300 feet away from the voters. A law that has worked well so far in the Sooner state.

“The election system is sound, it's safe and it's fair. That doesn't mean it's equal but it's fair,” Gaddie said.

Representatives from the Hillary Clinton campaign did not return a request for comment. However, Oklahoma GOP Chair Pam Pollard said her party has faith in the system in Oklahoma.

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