A Flailing Trump Pushes Questionable Voter Numbers

Donald Trump speaking at the 2017 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC)
President Trump, still looking for a narrative after his disastrous government shutdown did immeasurable damage to the country, took to Twitter to share some numbers he believes about voter fraud.

In a move similar to his 2016 voter fraud claims, he once again argued about non-citizens voting. While Trump won in 2018, he lost the popular vote -- and Trump tried to claim that was only due to voter fraud suppressing his numbers.

The GOP also suffered tremendous loses in the 2018 midterms.

A study by a Loyola Law School professor, Justin Levitt, tracked United States elections from 2000-2014. Out of more than 1 billion votes, they could only confirm 31 instances of voter fraud. Additionally, only four documented cases of voter fraud were discovered in 2016.

President Trump's own commission on voting fraud shut down last January, after finding no evidence of widespread voter fraud. 

Trump's source for his numbers was a tweet by Ken Paxton, the current Texas Attorney General. He retweeted Paxton’s claim as well.

The numbers Paxton are citing are suspect. For one, they cover a 22-year time period from 1996 to 2018. There remains, however, no evidence that any of these people voted fraudulently in the 2018 midterms.

What's more, the data does not state that 58,000 non-citizens voted: these were emphasized as weak matches, with many of those listed being in the process of becoming naturalized citizens. 

Many names in that sample are also likely in error, potentially based on a name match alone, but not the same individual. Even the head of the Texas Association of Elections Administrators, Chris Davis, has requested patience, knowing that these number lack appropriate verification. Nevertheless, President Trump moved forward on these claims.

President Trump seems to be once again trying to create a narrative of voter fraud, akin to his post-2016 mantra that "millions" voted illegally in California, in spite of a clear lack of proof.

Image by Gage Skidmore via Flickr and a CC license

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