Trump and Kobach’s Voter Fraud Lies Are Making More Voters Lose Confidence in Our Elections, Says New Poll

No matter how many studies have found that voter fraud is extraordinarily rare in the U.S., some public officials continue to tell Americans falsehoods about the state of our elections.

But their untrue claims are, unfortunately, resonating among some voters.

According to a poll unveiled on Thursday in The Washington Post, a majority of Republican voters believe that voter fraud, such as a person impersonating a registered voter or noncitizens voting, is a regular occurrence. Over half of Republicans polled also said they would agree with a hypothetical plan from President Trump to postpone the 2020 election “until the country can make sure that only eligible American citizens can vote.”

As researchers Ariel Malka and Yphtach Lelkes note, the “survey is only measuring reactions to a hypothetical situation,” but it shows that beliefs in voter fraud are widespread and could be used to justify disturbing policies.

A good portion of the blame for that widespread belief rests with the president. Trump has described voter fraud as “very, very common” in elections and tweeted that “DEAD PEOPLE” had “helped get President Obama elected.” Following the election, he blamed his 2.9 million popular vote loss on “the millions of people who voted illegally.

In January, Trump said that more than three million votes in the last election were fraudulent. To defend his allegation, the president cited Gregg Phillips, an activist who just days after the election tweeted that the “number of non-citizen votes exceeds 3 million” in the election, but to this day has refused to release any evidence to substantive his supposed findings. The only proof Phillips cited to support his “analysis” was Trump’s tweet about his claim: “Our analysis is what it is and we believe that truth is truth and if the president and his team believe the same is true, then maybe they are.”

Get that? But there’s more.

The man Trump tasked to investigate voter fraud across the country, Kansas Secretary of State and vice chair of the commission Kris Kobach, endorsed Trump’s false claim that he lost the popular vote due to fraud, even maintaining that Americans “may never know” if Trump or Hillary Clinton received more votes.

Kobach has made it his mission to spread patently untrue allegations about voter fraud. When it comes to finding actual cases of voter fraud, however, Kobach has come up empty.

But politicians besides Trump and Kobach have also spread the voter fraud myth, which has driven state efforts to pass restrictive laws and policies that are ostensibly meant to root out fraud but in reality disenfranchise voters, people of color in particular.

One study found that 200,000 voters in Wisconsin were disenfranchised by a state photo ID law that, according to a legislative staffer, was driven by a desire to suppress the vote among young voters and residents of Milwaukee. In North Carolina, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals found that state lawmakers passed a photo ID law in order to make it more difficult for African-Americans to vote, targeting them “with almost surgical precision.”

While it is absolutely troubling that a substantial number of voters would approve of a hypothetical plan to postpone the next presidential election, it is even more disconcerting that politicians are enacting laws that take away the ability to vote from tens of thousands of Americans under false pretenses.

Add a comment (16)
Read the Terms of Use

Anonymous

Lies, lies, and more damn lies. Trump and his cronies have got to be removed from public office, Period. Now. Don't waste your time and resources on fighting all the shadow issues they throw up to distract and misguide us, voter fraud among them. You invoke the 25th Amendment immediately and everything else will hopefully return to some semblance of normal and Kim Jung whatever will not be nuking us anytime soon.

Anonymous

Voting is the only thing we have left. I agree with the President to make the process more secure.
When you see the administration and President Trump accused of 'lying' by the propagandists, beware of their affiliations to David Brock, SuperPacs, Superdelegates and the six corporations which control 90% of all media, which is almost always the case.
Don't forget you live in an age of information control.

Anonymous

Voting maybe the only thing left, but when the popular vote clearly means nothing is it even worth trying to argue with a tyrant such as Trump about his fallacious arguments anyway? I'd say NOPE!

Anonymous

The popular vote issue that democrats keep harping about is quite interesting. This data (http://www.politico.com/mapdata-2016/2016-election/results/map/president/) shows the US Total vote to be 62,523,126 versus 61,201,031 or 1.3M in Clinton's favor. The California vote (7,362,490 versus 3,916,209) was 3.4M in Clintons favor. Do the math and you see that except for California, Trump won the popular vote in the rest of the country by a margin of 2.1M. So Trump not only resoundingly won the electoral votes but also the popular vote by a comfortable margin in the good old USA except for the socialist state of California. Trump also won the popular vote everywhere in the country except for the few large liberal mega cities on the east and west coasts. His support base is real and deep across the country no matter the self deluding nonsense that the talking heads in the media spout every day.

Pat Long Island

It was the Democrats that voted against popular vote and decided on electoral. They can change it back to the popular vote as what counts but it has to pass Congress. You make it sound like something was done illegally because it was all legal based on the laws Congress put into place, and at this time, the electoral votes are the deciding factor. I don't understand people who say the popular vote means nothing. Congress voted years ago for the electoral vote to be the legal deciding factor. I understand that at one time the popular vote was the deciding factor, but, again, people complained so it was changed to electoral. Of course, whatever process is law at the time of voting is what's going to be the deciding factor and the other is out the door. So it's ridiculous to say the popular vote means nothing because Congress voted against the popular vote, obviously based on what Americans wanted. The law now states that it's the electoral votes that matter and that are the deciding factor, so sure the popular vote doesn't count because it's not the law on the books at this time. But nobody pulled a "fast one" as Hillary supporters try to make it sound like. There's different ways to handle a campaign based on what the law on the books say. Therefore, it needs to be voted one way or another way before an election.

J Procter

Mr. Tashman is just spewing the same old same old from the Democrat side. It is totally intellectually dishonest to suggest and constantly beat that tired old drum that "voter fraud doesn't exist." Fact is there have been few "proven cases" because it is very difficult to catch it. The systems and procedures prevent good verification - on purpose. Democrats continue to block simple systems that would ensure against fraud for the obvious reason that they know they are the ones who have been gaming the system.

Lady Liberty

Wrong. Kris Kobach has been empowered for years in Kansas to go after voter fraud. How many convictions has he had? One! On the flip side, he threw out nearly 14,000 ballots in the last election thanks largely to a glitch on his office's website. Those who buy into the myth of voter fraud are tilting at windmills. Voter suppression, on the other hand, is real and is happening in many states.

J Procter

Lady Liberty - I respectfully disagree. I repeat that it is intellectually dishonest to deny the existence of or the potential existence of fraud based on "convictions" as a measuring stick. There are known cases that have been in the news across the country that clearly show that registration processes can and are abused by people who want to cheat. While the full extent of fraud is unclear, I am one who believes that we are seeing only the "tip of the iceberg." I would say that people who deny that fraud is a potential problem are either naive or are willfully ignoring it, perhaps because, like you, they are more concerned about potential voter suppression and so let that view/concern dominate all their thinking.

Anonymous

Voter Fraud is the easiest crime to commit. Hardest to prosecute and prove. For every illegal vote you disenfranchise a legal vote. Every right we have as citizens comes with responsibilities. Get an ID to prove your a citizen. how hard is that. Third world countries can do it. I think that minorities are every bit as capable of obtaining an id. as anyone else. those that think minorities are not capable are the ones who are racist.

Anonymous

How exactly is voter fraud easy to commit?

Even without requiring an ID when voting, to commit the fraud, you would need to know the name of a person and their voting district and know that they will not be voting in that election.

That is a lot of of pieces to come together.

Now expand that to the 3M that is being claimed was fraud.

And there is no evidence of collusion to make this happen? Logically think this through 3M people independently chose this action? Hummmmm.

Now voter suppression is much easier. Just drop people from the voting roles, computer glitches in certain counties to discourage voting... and that has been proven.

Pages

Sign Up for Breaking News