Saturday, December 03, 2016

Trump's Claim Of Massive Illegal Voting Did Not Happen

Donald Trump showed his thin skin again recently by claiming he would have won the popular vote if not for millions of illegal votes -- especially in Virginia, New Hampshire, and California. He was upset because people were questioning the validity of his presidency, since he lost the popular vote to Hillary Clinton by more than 2.5 million votes (which makes a joke of his claims of a landslide win and a mandate).

The nonpartisan Pulitzer Prize-winning organization PolitiFact checked on the accuracy of Trump's claims -- as they do with other politicians across the political spectrum. And they labeled his claims as "Pants on Fire" (meaning the statements are not accurate and make ridiculous claims).

That will come as no surprise to anyone except the trumpistas. Illegal voting (i.e., voter fraud) is not a problem in the United States (regardless of what the Republicans would like for you to believe). It is very difficult to vote illegally in this country, and the likelihood is that anyone who tries it will be caught (and punished).

But while there was no massive or widespread illegal voting, there were a very few people who tried to do it in this election. The Washington Post scoured the country to find all cases of illegal voting. They found only four documented cases of it (and a very few more that could have happened). Here is what they found:

Cases of voter fraud

A woman in Iowa who voted twice. Terri Lynn Rote had the enormous misfortune of bad timing. Right as the candidate she supported, Trump, was drawing attention to fraud cases, Rote decided to try to vote twice in Des Moines, and got caught. The case made national headlines simply by virtue of the fact that it happened when it did, and that she voted for Trump.
For what it's worth, she suggested that the fault lay with Trump. “The polls are rigged,” she said to a local radio station by way of explaining her multiple votes, echoing another of Trump's complaints.
A man in Texas who voted twice. Phillip Cook was arrested on Election Day after voting twice. He claimed to be an employee of Trump's campaign who was testing the security of the electoral system. He wasn't an employee of the campaign — and the polling location's security worked perfectly well, it seems.
A woman who cast a ballot on behalf of her dead husband. Audrey Cook is a Republican election judge in Illinois. She and her husband applied for absentee ballots because he was ill. He died before completing his, so she filled it out for him and sent it in. The ballot will not be counted.
A woman in Florida who marked absentee ballots. Gladys Coego was hired to open absentee ballots in Miami-Dade County. One of her co-workers noticed that she was going a step further, filling in the bubble for a mayoral candidate with a pen she had in her purse. She was caught in the act and arrested. There's no evidence that she changed any presidential votes.

Possible cases of voter fraud

Two possible cases of fraud in Washington state. Investigators are looking at two possible cases of fraud near the Idaho border. In the first, a man may have signed his deceased wife's name on an absentee ballot; in the second, someone may have voted in both states. Charges have not been filed in either case.
A possible case in South Carolina. A man in the Palmetto State is being investigated on suspicion of voting both by absentee ballot and in person.
Ballots are being challenged in North Carolina. Because of the close gubernatorial race in North Carolina, several dozen ballots were challenged by Republicans as having been cast by convicted felons in the state. An independent group found that at least 18 of the 43 alleged cases of fraud were not fraud at all, instead confusing valid voters with people who were ineligible given their status. There's not yet any verification that the other ballots were from ineligible voters, either.
To be blunt, Trump (and his GOP cohorts) are lying when they claim massive or widespread illegal voting or voting fraud. They are just using this giant lie to suppress the votes of groups they don't think will vote for them -- and we must continue to fight those suppression efforts.

1 comment:

  1. The rePUKEians have always been the largest cheater in voting....garrymandering, voter ID, making it hard to get to voting places by distance and by having it on a work day, etc.


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