voter fraud hoax

Justice Department Finds 19 Illegal Voters; Right-Wing Peanut Gallery Cheers

Voter fraud remains the great phantom menace of American politics. Photo: Brianna Soukup/Press Herald via Getty Images

The president has famously claimed on more than one occasion that Democrats benefited from a vast number of illegal votes in 2016:

More recently he claimed the illegal voters amounted to “millions and millions,” just in one state:

“In many places the same person in California votes many times,” said Trump, at the official White House event in West Virginia on tax cuts. “They always like to say, ‘Oh that’s a conspiracy theory.’ It’s not a conspiracy theory. Millions and millions of people and it’s very hard because the state guards their records.”

Anytime you make an outlandish claim and then in the same utterance admit you can’t prove it, your credibility isn’t great.

There is, in fact, a vast academic literature on this subject, unanimously holding that “voter fraud”— whether it’s voter impersonation or double voting — is an extremely small problem. It’s not entirely nonexistent, but it hardly justifies all the alarms regularly raised by conservatives seeking to justify voter ID requirements that just so happen to discourage voting by many perfectly qualified citizens. And less you object that these studies were all done by liberal elitists at godless Ivy League schools, one I noticed is most definitely not:

Researchers at Brigham Young University examined impersonation fraud both at the polls and by mail ballot in selected jurisdictions in Florida, Ohio, and Utah. Outside of two previously known fraud cases, they found no additional incidents. They wrote that their results “support the conclusion that electoral fraud, if it occurs, is an isolated and rare occurrence in modern U.S. elections.”

Most recently, Trump’s own Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, headed by the notorious vote suppressor and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, shut down amids complaints that the states weren’t complying with some mighty invasive information requests. But here was the underlying reality, as the New York Times reported:

[N]o state has uncovered significant evidence to support the president’s claim, and election officials, including many Republicans, have strongly rejected it.

But that hasn’t kept the administration from pursuing this phantom menace. And today cries of triumph emerged from various conservative media precincts, led by Fox News:

Nineteen foreign nationals have been charged with illegal voting in the 2016 election, the Justice Department said Friday.

The defendants are from numerous countries, including Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Nigeria and Germany.

Some of them were charged in an indictment handed down by a federal grand jury in Wilmington, N.C. They were accused of filing a false claim of citizenship in order to register, and then voting. 

Others were charged separately for illegally voting. 

The announcement comes amid an intense debate at the state level over voter fraud and efforts by Republican lawmakers to impose voter ID restrictions. 

At the Gateway Pundit, the chortling was uncontrolled:

There’s a rather obvious problem with this “AHA LIBERALS” reaction to the case, beyond the fact that the 19 people involved have not been convicted, and the details aren’t clear (in the one case where DOJ does provide details, it seems the alleged illegal voter had a fake passport, which is probably not going to get caught by voter ID requirements). We’re talking about 19 people, which is a bit short of “millions,” much less “millions of millions.”

19 illegal aliens were indicted on charges of illegal voting during the 2016 presidential election, the DOJ said Friday.

But the Democrats and their media mouthpieces told us that the notion that illegal aliens are voting is just a conspiracy theory made up by right-wingers ….

This is why the Democrats don’t want voter ID laws.

Please get back to us when you’re at least up to thousands of cases, and then we can talk. But this gloating over next to nothing is just embarrassing.

DOJ Finds 19 Illegal Voters, Not ‘Millions’