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Trump’s “Vote Fraud” Fraud

Don Rose 11 April 2018 No Comment

He’s at it again, claiming “millions” of fraudulent votes were cast against him in the 2016 election–alleging mainly undocumented Latinos voted two and three times in California and elsewhere.

    What’s really truly fraudulent is Trump’s claim, which he first made after his election, trying to justify having lost the popular count by nearly three million votes. It also plays into his anti-immigration rhetoric and helps Republicans pushing for voter-suppression laws.

    Let me tell you, people, I’m from Chicago and I know something about vote fraud, having worked to end it since the reign of Richard J. Daley  beginning in the late 1950s.  I witnessed vote fraud first-hand, which peaked at about 150,000 votes in Cook County using a variety of techniques ranging from “ghost” voters to ballot-box stuffing to illegal assistance, vote buying, false reporting and actual rigging of voting machines.

     The turning point came in the early 1970s with a massive Chicago Tribune expose’, a series of lawsuits and the work of an organization called Project Leap (Legal Elections in All Precincts). Today there is still scattered fraud in some wards–mainly illegal assistance in public housing for the elderly, but no reported incidents of voter impersonation or “ghosts.”

   Every state has different voting laws and agencies. Many, like Illinois, have independent county commissions.  None reported any fraud even though the majority were led by Republicans. Even a congressional investigation Trump sought  has yet to report any fraud.

    The Brennan Center for Justice, which studies the issue, produced a major paper, The Truth About Voter Fraud, that concluded  “… most reported incidents of voter fraud are actually traceable to other sources, such as clerical errors or bad data matching practices. The report reviewed elections that had been meticulously studied for voter fraud, and found incident rates between 0.0003 percent and 0.0025 percent. Given this tiny incident rate for voter impersonation fraud, it is more likely…that an American will be struck by lightning than that he will impersonate another voter at the polls.”

    The Washington Post published a study that found “31 credible instances of impersonation fraud from 2000 to 2014, out of more than 1 billion ballots cast.” Another concluded that the upper limit on double voting in the 2012 election was 0.02%.  A 2016 survey found only 4 documented cases of  impersonation.


    Falsely claiming citizenship when registering is perjury– a felony. Tell me: where are 20 or more Mayor Daleys with the control needed to get a couple million Latinos willing to risk getting caught? A 2014 study concluded that “the likely percent of non-citizen voters in recent US elections is 0.”

      Here in Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel plans to issue official city identification cards to anyone who needs one, regardless of citizenship. It could be used for verification of address but not as proof of citizenship to register to vote.

   Nevertheless, hysterical alarms are going off about hordes of “illegals” registering. Do you suppose any undocumented persons would risk it? As any organizer in Latino areas will tell you, it’s hard enough to get eligible to Latinos register and vote.

    Try again, Donald.

Don Rose is a regular columnist for the Chicago Daily Observer

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