The presidential election was close. Only 84 Electoral College votes separated the contenders. Widespread allegations of ballot fraud were claimed by national party chairmen in 11 states, with court challenges lasting into the middle of the year following the election. Changing the results in just two states would flip the election.
The fraud allegations were serious, including dead people voting and votes far in excess of registered voters in some counties. Yet partisan election boards quickly certified the results while local judges, loyal to the political machines that installed them, threw out legal challenges. Eventually, 650 people were charged with election fraud, but only three were convicted, all given short sentences.
No, this isn’t a story about 2020. It’s a story of 1960. U.S. Sen. John F. Kennedy defeated two-term Vice President Richard Nixon in the 1960 presidential election by 303 to 219 electoral votes (with 15 ballots going to Sen. Harry F. Byrd). Nixon “lost” Illinois by 8,858