Analysis: Claims U.S. election is 'rigged' may leave lasting damage

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WASHINGTON - Donald Trump keeps peddling the notion the vote may be rigged. It's not clear if he does not understand the potential damage of his words — or he simply does not care.

Trump's claim — made without evidence — undercuts the essence of American democracy, the idea that U.S. elections are both free and fair, with the vanquished peacefully stepping aside for the victor. His repeated assertions are sowing suspicion among his most ardent supporters, raising the possibility that millions of people may not accept the results on Nov. 8 if Trump does not win.

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