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.

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Anonymous

Republicans have stolen three elections, and will cancel all elections '20 forward.
It's time for revolution.
The tree of liberty is thirsty.

Jack Wall

But isn't that the point of propaganda? Roger Ailse, when leading Fox news, said if you say it in brief form often enough, people will eventually believe it. That's what is happening in our country, one of the prime signs that American fascism is on the rise. The public, of course, denies signs like this and prefers to float in the "politics of inevitability" (Timothy Snyder, "On Tyranny") or the naive belief that our democracy is destined to to succeed no matter what. (It's akin to believing that "god is on our side so we're safe.") The signs of rising fascism are evident and many, like the use of propaganda to make a lie truth, but the public, aided by a cowardly press, refuses to see it. Too bad - that blindness is one of the things that allows fascism to rise. Maybe we'll wake up in time to save our Democracy - but judging from this poll, maybe not.

Linda

I truly despise Trump and the racist fascists he has put into positions of power in our government. I am hoping that Mr. Mueller and his team can nail these people so we can be rid of them from our government and so they are held accountable for the damage they are doing to our country.

Patricia

Can anyone tell me why I've added two comments a day apart and not one is shown here? What are they picking and choosing what they want to see?

Patricia

I'll give it one more try. They seem to print what they want to and just trash other comments. Biased media. I believe there is voter fraud. Dead people voting, people voting in more than one state (saying they haven't changed their license yet) and illegals voting is a very, very big problem. Paste this in your address bar: http://100percentfedup.com/new-report-shows-3-5-million-adults-registered-vote-alive-leftist-media-predicted-hillary-win-video/ Remember Obama's interview on TV in California, not only encouraging illegal immigrants to go out and vote but also saying nothing at all would happen to them because those records aren't checked. I watched it myself. Every illegal immigrant that votes cancels out an American's vote and voting is a privilege in America. I strongly believe that only American citizens should be allowed to vote. Why have so many states refused to cooperate with Trump's team researching if any voting fraud was taking place? What do they have to hide and why wouldn't they cooperate? As an American, I think it's important for us to know, and that right should be protected 100%. We should have voter id cards to make sure there's no voter fraud. As the article that the link above leads to, why do you think they were 100% positive that Hillary was going to win? Because they had it all taken care of with voter fraud! 3.5 million fraudulent votes can make an impact. And that's probably on the tip of the iceberg!Do you realize that the Democrats have welcome baskets given to every person coming into the country and in that basket is a Democrat voter registration form? How's that for encouraging illegal votes? The only reason Hillary won California is because of all the illegals there. The Democrats will win an election by hook or crook and lie about it. I'm a Republican and hate to say it but they're too honest (or stupid) to cheat! The Dems lie until they're blue in the face and the other Dems swear to it. The Repubs tell the truth and the other Repubs stand around looking at each other - no balls at all!

Missleatha3

First of all, your link is basically to a website that has no informational value whatsoever. Here is a link that is actually about voter suppression
http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2017/10/voter-suppression-wisconsin-election-2016/
The actual number of cases of people voting in two states is very low & as far as i know the # of illegal immigrants voting is too. Would you risk being deported to vote? This is a made up lie by donald trump and it had nevver been heard until recent years. Now you have a team of ppl who are considering doing background checks for the right to vote. Im sorry but thats a little too far. When the WH started asking states for everybody's info including voting record, that was a huge red flag. We need to go back to good old fashioned paper voting. That, or everyone should get some kind of paper receipt with a special # identifier that is unique to them with a PIN they create so they can verify their vote was received properly at the other end. Thats my opinion. I think that would solve at least this whole mess of the russian tampering thing. And the machines should be offline while voting is happening. However theres still a problem of voter purge - voters being knocked out of the rolls prior to voting. When u register, u should get an identifier card, if u have that, u should get to vote regardless & there should be a way to enter those manually so they dont have to be counted by hand later. Just the voter info.. the rest should be easy enough. And all dems are not liars nor are all reps- as a general rule i think all politicians are at one point or another, some just worse than others. But it doesnt help our nation to have so much anger. It seeps from your post. It would be nice if it wasnt such an us vs them attitude. Granted, i dont always feel this way. Must just be a good day. God bless you.

Mark and Suzann...

The fact that he was elected is a bigger reason for the lack of voter confidence. But elections are still the most pointed way to show government what we expect from them.

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