The claim is that Tagg has "purchased voting machines," as Allvoices.com puts it , to guarantee his father's victory.

Here's the problem with that theory, as the Washington Post reports : Hart doesn't own the Hamilton machines. They are owned and controlled by the board of elections.

The county's director of elections was very clear to the Post. "We own our equipment," she said. "Hart has nothing to do with it."

There will always be election conspiracy theories. A man in Arizona claims Republicans there have a 20-point swing, guaranteed, in their favor, by manipulating the results in large precincts -- he wrote about it at Readersupportednews.org .

This particular theory gained traction in the 2008 South Carolina primary, where big precincts gave Romney his best gains against John McCain. But Romney was running to McCain's left. Charleston is where the big precincts were and those Republicans were more moderate than those in the upstate, where McCain won handily. (This year's primary had the same pattern. Newt Gingrich won.)

The point is that conspiracies are as old as elections. One of my favorite scenes in "Citizen Kane" is when Charles Foster Kane's newspaper editors get the results of the election he lost, and sadly go with the headline "Fraud at Polls."

I could be wrong. Maybe Tagg Romney is secretly electing his dad president as we speak. Maybe there's no such thing, really, as democracy. Maybe it's all a game, a fraud, controlled by big businessmen manipulating us from above, an unseen evil conspiracy.

But if that's true, how did a half-black Hawaiian native named Barack Hussein Obama become president in the first place? You keep hope alive for your favorite candidate. I'm going to keep it alive for democracy.

At the time of publication, the author had no investments in the companies mentioned.

This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.

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