Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Your Basic Primer on Why Trump's Voter Fraud Claims Are Bullshit

Your Basic Primer on Why Trump's Voter Fraud Claims Are Bullshit
by Josh Marshall

***Voter fraud is extremely rare in the United States. Organized voter fraud (which is basically required to commit fraud at scale) is close to non-existent. And voter impersonation fraud - voting in the name of another person - all but never happens.

1. Let's review some details. A 2014 study found 31 cases of ballot fraud out of a billion votes cast. Back in December, the Post's Philip Bump found four documented cases of voter fraud in the entire 2016 election. These are but a couple examples, endlessly documented by TPM and other publications over the last decade and a half, documenting this point. There are dozens more studies of various scales, in various parts of the country and using different forms of evidence. They all arrive at the same conclusion. Indeed, if you remember, the 2006-07 US Attorney Firing scandal grew out of White House attempts to pressure US Attorneys to find and prosecute phantom cases of voter fraud. The US Attorneys in question were unable to find and then unwilling to manufacture it. That triggered efforts, beginning and in the White House and carried out in the Justice Department, to replace them with new US Attorneys who would 'try harder'.

As we've also discussed at length, this entire obsession is rooted in the desire to make voting harder and suppress the vote of Democrats, minorities and the poor. But for the moment, I want to keep to the specifics about the claims themselves. Even to say 'there's no evidence' for Trump's claims is a cop-out. There's also no evidence that Godzilla or King Kong exists. But we're less tentative about saying someone's either crazy or a liar if they say otherwise.

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