News & Politics

President Trump Promises 'Major Investigation' into VOTER FRAUD

President-elect Donald Trump calls on a reporter during a news conference in the lobby of Trump Tower in New York, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2017. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

On Wednesday, President Donald Trump announced he will launch a “major investigation” into voter fraud in the 2016 election. His announcement came a day after White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer was forced to defend claims Trump had made in a private meeting with members of Congress Monday that between 3 million and 5 million people had illegally voted.

“I will be asking for a major investigation into VOTER FRAUD, including those registered to vote in two states, those who are illegal and … even, those registered to vote who are dead (and many for a long time),” Trump tweeted on Wednesday morning. He promised that, “depending on results, we will strengthen up voting procedures!”

The president’s claim that between 3 and 5 million illegally voted received bipartisan criticism, with House Speaker Paul Ryan saying he had seen “no evidence” of the claim. Spicer explained that Trump believes this based on evidence presented to him. “It was a comment he made on a longstanding belief,” the press secretary said. “He believes what he believes based on the information he’s been provided.”

Reporters pushed Spicer on why, if Trump believes such rampant fraud occurred, the administration would not order an investigation into voter practices. The press secretary said the president was “comfortable” with his victory, but added that “maybe we will.” Trump’s announcement Wednesday morning suggests that is the case.

According to an analysis in Just Facts, there is reason to believe that non-citizens voted in large numbers during the 2016 election. According to a 2014 paper published by the journal Electoral Studies, between 38,000 and 2.8 million non-citizens voted illegally in 2008, and there are reasons to expect those numbers increased last year. The paper’s “best estimate” is that approximately 1.2 million or “6.4% of non-citizens actually voted.”

Naturally, this report has been vilified in the press, and deceptive attempts have been taken to minimize the numbers to zero. Just Facts explained why these attempts are deceptive, and why they should be dismissed. The report also admitted there are flaws in the Electoral Studies paper, but argue it gives a solid benchmark on such complicated matters.

The Just Facts report does not suggest that Trump’s loss in the national popular vote would be made up by discounting all of the non-citizens who voted for Hillary Clinton, but it does suggest that voter fraud is an important issue that needs to be quantified. It also established a skew for Democrats in such fraud — which may not be surprising given how strongly that particular party opposes efforts to cut down on voter fraud.

Given the exaggerated rhetoric of the election, when Democrats accused Trump of targeting the “rights” of non-citizens and of being a racist for negative comments about Mexican immigrants, it is reasonable to think non-citizens (of whom there were an estimated 21 million in the U.S. last year) would have attempted to vote against him.

Furthermore, a Project Veritas video revealed a Democrat operative discussing plans to engage in — and get away with — voter fraud. Last year, one young Virginia Democrat actually admitted to registering 19 dead people to vote. Over 1,000 aliens are known to be registered to vote in just eight Virginia counties. Many elections in Virginia especially have come down to extremely small margins, which could have been covered by dead and non-citizen voters.

Voter fraud is an issue, and it is important for Americans to know just how big a problem it is. Democrats have engaged in a campaign against voter ID laws by arguing that such restrictions would harm minorities. Just this month, a group of black pastors condemned the idea that black people are less likely to have driver’s licenses and official IDs as “racist,” slamming MSNBC’s Reverend Al Sharpton for pushing such an idea.

Trump arguably should launch this investigation, but he needs to be careful about rushing to conclusions about what it will reveal. It is perfectly possible (and indeed likely) that voter fraud is a rampant problem and that he still lost the popular vote once all fraudulent votes have been eliminated. The investigation is still important, because many races are decided on the margins, and as the 2014 paper noted, “non-citizen votes could have given Senate Democrats the pivotal 60th vote needed to overcome filibusters in order to pass health-care reform and many other reforms.” Just let that sink in — how different the discussion around Obamacare would be had Democrats needed to convince just one Republican senator to support it!

By all means, Mr. President, investigate away! And please let the results of the investigation speak for themselves.