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[10/17/16]  Former New York City Mayor Rudy Guiliani, appearing Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union” program with Jake Tapper, a stong supporter of fellow New Yorker Donald Trump for president, backed up Trump’s claims the election “is absolutely being rigged.” Guiliani told Tapper that the Democrats could steal a close election in a state like Pennsylvania.

“I’m sorry, dead people generally vote for Democrats rather than Republicans,” Guiliani insisted.

The election being “rigged” and possibly stolen has been a theme of Trump’s for some time. Trump even said that if he did not win the Republican Party nomination, the system might be rigged. Early Sunday, Trump tweeted, “The election is absolutely being rigged by the dishonest and distorted media pushing Crooked Hillary — but also at many polling places — SAD.”

Guiliani defended Trump in his conversation with Tapper. “You want me to [say] that I think the election in Philadelphia and Chicago is going to be fair? I would have to be a moron to say that.”

The former mayor did concede that this would become important only in a close race. He offered Pennsylvania as an example, arguing that if Trump or Clinton carried the state by “5 points,” then such cheating would not change the outcome. But, on the other hand, it is thought that Pennsylvania might be very close, and any such vote fraud in Philadelphia could very well be decisive. When one considers that the 2000 presidential election between Republican George W. Bush and Democrat Al Gore was decided in Florida — with Bush prevailing by less than 600 votes out of six million votes cast, any such vote fraud could tilt the election.

Only three years before Bush’s razor-thin victory in Florida over Gore, a mayor’s race in Miami was nullified by a judge due to widespread fraud. The fraud included a number of established cases of votes being cast by “dead people” — that is, by individuals who voted in the name of a deceased person.

This is known as “Tombstone Voting.” The Poughskeepie Journal in New York did an analysis of tombstone voting in 2006, and found that as many as 2,600 individuals had cast votes, despite being “dead.”

Liberal Democrats like to contend that vote fraud is not a significant problem in the United States, but election inspectors in Illinois who examined a governor’s race in that state estimated that about 10 percent of the ballots cast there were fraudulent, including several “dead” people.

The votes cast in a Tennessee state Senate race in 2005 included at least two “tombstone voters.”

Perhaps the most infamous episode of this specific type of election fraud occurred in Texas in 1948, in the U.S. Senate race between former Congressman Lyndon Johnson and Governor Coke Stevenson. When the polls closed, it appeared that Governor Stevenson had eked out a victory in the Democratic Party primary by 854 votes. (At the time, the Republican Party was just a shell in the state, and a win in the Democratic primary was considered tantamount to victory.)  But Johnson supporters “revised” the vote count in Duval County, Texas, reducing Stevenson’s victory margin to less than 200 votes. Fortunately for Johnson, it was discovered that there were additional votes cast for him in nearby Jim Wells County, in Box 13, in Alice, Texas — enough additional votes to make him the winner.