British Conservatives and the US Republicans have added a modern game to the demagogic playbook. They are creating an imaginary fear that elections are being rigged in order to rig elections. They will protect democracy by removing the right to vote.
Boris Johnson’s hobgoblin is a fake voter, almost certainly from an ethnic minority. These masters of disguise steal honest citizens’ ballots by pretending to be them at polling stations. When the honest citizens arrive, election officials tell them that they have already voted and call the police.
Fake voters are a fake. If they weren’t, you would have read hundreds of articles about people whose identities had been stolen. The government’s own research found that personation fraud at the polling station accounted for just eight of the allegations of electoral fraud made in 2018. When Lutfur Rahman, the corrupt mayor of Tower Hamlets, was found guilty in the biggest electoral fraud trial of recent times, the fraud consisted of funnelling bribes to Bengali organisations that were “totally ineligible” for public money, not for arranging for body doubles to flood polling stations.