Trump’s Election Fraud Fantasies and Public Policy

Vote2016YuliaGapeenkoDreamstimeYulia Gapeenko/DreamstimeBy now, we have all learned that President Trump never backs down or takes anything back. He lives in his own version of reality and alternative facts. Rather than try to disabuse their boss of his delusions, his minions scramble to bolster them. One result of the president’s repeated insistence that there was massive voter fraud during the 2016 election is that he issued a Presidential Executive Order on the Establishment of Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity a week ago.

The new bipartisan commission will be chaired by Vice-President Mike Pence. The vice chair of the commission is Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach. A long time advocate of stricter voting regulations, Kobach finally obtained in April his first conviction of a non-citizen who illegally voted in a Kansas election. This franchise felon was a caught when his earlier voter registration was uncovered when he signed up to vote at his naturalization ceremony. The Kansas City Star noted that 1,788,673 people are registered to vote in Kansas. The franchise is safe in the Sunflower State!

So on what delusions is the new commission based?

“Fourteen percent of non-citizens are registered to vote,” claimed Donald Trump during a presidential campaign rally in Cleveland, Ohio in October, 2016. White House press secretary Sean Spicer backed his boss’ claim up on January 24, 2017 asserting, “There’s one (study) that came out of Pew in 2008 that showed 14 percent of people who voted were noncitizens.” On January 23, 2017, President Trump told Congressional leaders that between 3 million and 5 million illegal votes causing him to lose the popular vote. Is there any evidence for such widespread election fraud? No.

First, Spicer was both garbling and mischaracterizing the results of two different studies in his remarks. There was a 2008 Pew study that focused on the sloppiness of voter registration records, but did not say anything about voter fraud. “We found millions of out of date registration records due to

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