Donald Trump’s false voter-fraud allegations are wrong and damaging.
DONALD Trump is preparing a crash-landing pad for the likelihood of his resounding defeat in the Nov. 8 election. His claims about “large-scale voter fraud” and a “rigged election” are self-serving and, worse, damaging to the American electoral process.
Like so many other claims from Trump’s demagogic campaign, his claims take a gossamer thread of fact and weave them into conspiracy. The Pulitzer Prize-winning fact-checking service PolitiFact (which must really need a vacation by now) ruled Trump’s claim “pants-on-fire” wrong.
Trump points to a 2012 Pew Research report, which documented some mismanagement of voter rolls. The Pew numbers do look alarming: 24 million voter registrations were inaccurate or out of date, and 1.8 million dead people were on voting rolls.
Outdated voters rolls are a constant challenge for state and local election managers. Washington state did yeoman’s work scrubbing out ineligible, dead and felon voters after the historically close 2004 race for governor between Chris Gregoire and Dino Rossi.
But translating some inaccurate voter registrations into a vast conspiracy to steal the election is a giant and unfounded leap of logic and fact. The fact: A voter is more likely to be struck by lightning than be accused of voter fraud, PolitiFact reported.
An investigation at an Arizona State University journalism program found just 10 cases of in-person voter fraud committed out of 146 million registered voters between 2000-2011. An investigation by a Loyola Marymount University professor took a different approach and found just 31 credible instances of voter fraud out of 1 billion ballots. And the George W. Bush administration itself, conducting a full hunt for voter fraud after the 2000 election, prosecuted just 86 cases out of 200 million votes cast.
Widespread election fraud would require 'a conspiracy of such grand scale that I think we would have much bigger problems than whether this election is rigged.'”
Trump’s lies are immune to fact-checking, and he’ll keep spinning them. But the damage is being done. It’s incumbent on elected officials, especially Republicans, to speak up. Now.
Washington Secretary of State Kim Wyman, a Republican, said Trump’s claims are “irresponsible” and, frankly, inconceivable.
With 9,000 county auditors and election officials nationwide, widespread election fraud would require “a conspiracy of such grand scale that I think we would have much bigger problems than whether this election is rigged,” she said.