Throughout the 2016 US presidential election, supporters on both sides of the campaign tossed out accusations of possible voter fraud and election tampering. Near the end of the election, President-elect Donald Trump alleged that if he lost, it would be due to voter fraud and a “rigged” result. In late November, he claimed in a tweet there was "Serious voter fraud in Virginia, New Hampshire and California.”
On the other side, Green Party candidate Jill Stein raised enough funds to launch vote recounts in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania, after a group of computer scientists alleged it was possible that voting machines in those three states were hacked — maybe even by a foreign state.
The probable truth is that none of that happened. At least, not on any scale that would have affected the election’s outcome. According to Lorraine Minnite's book The Myth of Voter Fraud:
The best facts we can gather to assess the magnitude of the alleged problem of voter fraud show that, although millions of people cast ballots every year, almost no one knowingly and willfully casts an illegal vote in the United States today.
But if those shenanigans were going on — and we lived in a fictional world where all our favorite evil organizations were real — there would be a few suspects we could investigate. Why? Because these super-powered spy rings would want to rig our election and put a #spy in office:
James Bond fans know SPECTRE — the Special Executive Counter-Intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion group — from its multiple appearances in books, films and video games. The organization most recently appeared in the 2015 film #Spectre. Led by Ernst Stavro Blofeld, the group is run by 21 individuals, including members of the Gestapo, the Soviet SMERSH, Marshal Josip Broz Tito's secret police, the mafia, the Unione Corse, and a Turkish heroin drug cartel. Spooky. Its goal, for the most part? World domination. So, yeah, rigging a few election results? They could probably figure that out. Or maybe we'd just be small potatoes to them.
Marvel comics readers and fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe know #HYDRA all too well. It’s the evil organization that started with The Red Skull during World War II and eventually infiltrated both S.H.I.E.L.D., Marvel’s global police squad, and the American government. Sticking strictly to the MCU, we know HYDRA would do everything in its power to place one of its operatives in the Oval Office. In fact, in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, President Matthew Ellis was one of HYDRA’s Project Insight targets. Project Insight was the codename for the three super-helicarriers HYDRA hoped to use to eliminate current and future enemies.
The Hierarchy of International Vengeance and Extermination is a supervillain group working in the DC Universe. While they haven’t really popped up in DC’s cinematic universe, H.I.V.E. was a thorn in the side of The CW’s Arrow for quite some time. And while the TV version didn’t have its eye on the presidency, it did have its eye on Star City’s government. During the show’s fourth season, #HIVE murdered — or attempted to murder — any and all mayors who took office.
The nemesis of every Joe in the G.I. Joe universe, Cobra, led by Cobra Commander, actually stole the presidency at the end of the toy and comic line’s first movie adaptation. In G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, Zartan, master of impersonations, takes over the presidency after Cobra kidnaps the president. The charade carries over into the sequel, G.I. Joe: Retaliation, until the Joes are able to stop #Cobra and restore order to the American government.
The mirror opposite of CONTROL, KAOS is the evil organization bent on world domination in the Get Smart universe. The comedic cousin of SPECTRE, KAOS would stop at nothing to gain control of the presidency and the American government. Of course, its bumbling agents, matched against Maxwell Smart (just as bumbling) meant this group of ne’er-do-wells were ne’er going to make it to the West Wing.
What other secret spy organizations do you think would have eyes on the US presidency?