Without spoiling too much, almost every word in the phrase “rampant voter fraud in the US” is wrong.
So we have talked about “the problem” with voter fraud in the United States Many. Times. Before. On this website. But, the Trump administration announced late-last week that they would be launching a commission to study voter fraud and the integrity of the US election system. This commission is charged, by an executive order, to report to President Trump with recommendations to “fix the vulnerabilities of the system.”
Text of Presidential Executive Order on the Establishment of Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity pic.twitter.com/usvTPGVhyg
— Zeke Miller (@ZekeJMiller) May 11, 2017
So here we are again.
To be clear, the only reason we’re writing about this again is because the President of the United States wants to make this a priority, probably because he believes “voter fraud” cost him the popular vote in the 2016 presidential election.
In addition to winning the Electoral College in a landslide, I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 27, 2016
Considering the executive branch decided to look into the act of voter fraud using actual government resources (!!!), let’s look at this subject with new eyes to determine if this is; True, False, or Tralse?
Just the Facts
So before we start, we should define what people mean when they refer to “voter fraud.” In most cases, voter fraud is considered to be some kind of interference in the electoral process. Examples of voter fraud includes activities like; ballot stuffing (an individual casting multiple votes), dead voting (fraudulently voting under a deceased individual’s name), or vote-buying (organizations paying to people to vote a certain way).
Now that we defined what voter fraud is, we should talk about what isn’t voter fraud. In the past, President Trump had claimed that there were deceased individuals still registered as voters in multiple states.
In Gettysburg, PA, Trump says dead people are registered to vote, "and some of them are voting."
— Sahil Kapur (@sahilkapur) October 22, 2016
While technically, President Trump is right, that voter registries have not been updated to take out individuals that have either deceased or moved to new voting districts. A few years ago, Pew Research looked into the matter and found that there were 1.8 million individuals that are registered to vote in 2016 that had been recently deceased.
With that said…
BEING REGISTERED TO VOTE AND ACTUALLY VOTING ARE TWO COMPLETELY DIFFERENT THINGS!!
Trump is right about the literal facts – that there are currently deceased individuals registered to vote – but that doesn’t mean they cast votes. While it’s a problem in the US that voting registries aren’t up-to-date, that doesn’t constitute the practice as voter fraud! It’s important that we understand that.
As for voter fraud itself, to be perfectly frank, it isn’t a problem in the US.
The Washington Post did an investigation back in 2014 to figure out the severity of voter fraud due to the numerous Voter ID laws that had started to be enacted at the state level. After looking at 1 billion ballots through the 2000 to 2014 election cycles, they only found 31 instances of voter fraud. That’s a 0.0000031% instance of voter fraud in 14 years!
Even academia hasn’t found any clear evidence of voter fraud with studies like the one by Columbia University where they tracked two years of incidence rates and found that most allegations were largely false. Or even Harvard University’s Cooperative Congressional Election Study that found, “the likely percent of non-citizen voters in recent US elections is 0.” And the evidence just keeps mounting. Time and time again, studies continue to show little-to-no evidence of voter fraud in the US electoral system.
President Trump (along with many Republicans) have tried to push solutions – like Voter ID laws – to “fix” a problem that is completely non-existent. Because of that, on the subject of voter fraud being a rampant problem in the US election system, we have to say that is unequivocally…
(Photo Credits: Pixabay.com, Google Images)