This is an ongoing feature keeping track of the lack of evidence to support President Donald Trumps claims of widespread voter fraud in the 2016 election. It will be updated intermittently, and should any such evidence be offered to the public, we will note it.
President Donald Trump still hasnt provided any evidence of voter fraud in the U.S., despite repeatedly claiming that its a widespread issue and that thousands of people voted illegally in New Hampshire in November.
Trump, who has tapped Vice President Mike Pence to lead an investigation into the issue,first made the New Hampshire claimlast monthduring a closed-door Oval Office meeting with Democratic and Republican senators. The president told the group that he lost the state and that former Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R) didnt retain her seat becausethousands of people had been bused in to the state to vote illegally.
Multiple studies and investigations have shown that widespread voter fraud does not exist. Still, the White House hasnt backed down. Stephen Miller, a top Trump aide, said it was obvious there was voter fraud in New Hampshire.
I can tell you that this issue is widely known by anyone whos worked in New Hampshire politics. Its very real, its very serious, Miller said two days after Trumps initial claim.
Apparently, it isnt so widely known. New Hampshire election officials said immediately after Trumps statement that there was no evidence of fraud in the state. The presidents claim baffled Allen Raymond, who wrote a book on election fraud in New Hampshire. And Corey Lewandowski, Trumps former campaign manager who started out in New Hampshire politics, said there wasnt voter fraud in the state.
New Hampshire officials are still trying to figure out exactly what Trump was referring to last month.
This insinuation that our elections are somehow tainted is deeply harmful, as it undermines the democratic process. Gilles Bissonnette, legal director of the ACLU of New Hampshire
New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu (R) has said he doesnt have any evidence of illegal voting in his state, and contacted the White House seeking Trumps evidence of voter fraud.
Weve talked a little bit, and I basically said, Look, if theres real evidence out there that you have that we dont have, were happy to talk about that and take a look at it, Sununu said last month.
As Ive said in the past, Im not aware of any widespread voter fraud in New Hampshire. However, the administration has made some strong assertions to the contrary, the governor said in a statement released through a spokesman. I take their concerns seriously and look forward to working closely with them to learn of any evidence they may have and help address any concerns that may develop from there.
A White House official declined to share what, if any, evidence it had discussed with Sununu.
We are not going to discuss private conversations. We would be happy to share more information on this general topic when we have it,the official told The Huffington Post.
Brian Buonamano, an assistant attorney general in New Hampshire, said officials had already looked in to similar busing claims in the past and found them to be untrue.
President Trump has not produced evidence of widespread voter fraud because, as New Hampshire officials and studies have shown, no such evidence exists, Gilles Bissonnette, legal director of the ACLU of New Hampshire, said in a statement. This insinuation that our elections are somehow tainted is deeply harmful, as it undermines the democratic process.
Even though he hasnt provided any evidence of illegal voting, Trump has helped stoke fears of voter fraud and given Republicans in many states fuel to pass voting restrictions such as voter ID requirements.Republicans in New Hampshire, for example,are advancing a number of measures that would make it more difficult to vote.
And this week, the Department of Justicereversed its position in a lawsuit against Texas over the states voter ID law. The Obama administration had sided with the plaintiffs in the case,who argue that the law intentionally discriminates against minorities.
Its a scare tactic if he talks about it long enough, states might take up photo ID bills, noting the president said theres fraud, Allegra Chapman, director of voting and elections at Common Cause, wrote in an email.
As weve seen before, Pres. Trump is a master manipulator; hes puppeteering here to get others to do the dirty work, she added. State legislators, though, shouldnt get played. And we should all let this unsubstantiated nonsense die down.
We should all let this unsubstantiated nonsense die down. Allegra Chapman, director of voting and elections at Common Cause
And even if people somehowwere bused in from neighboring states like Massachusetts,researchers from Dartmouth Collegefound it didnt necessarily hurt Ayotte.
Their study of election results found no relationship between the number of Massachusetts drivers licenses used for same-day New Hampshire voter registration and any increase or decrease in votes for Ayotte between 2010 and 2016. There was actually more support for Ayotte both in towns near the Massachusetts border and in areas where there was an increase in turnout.
Trump frequently warned during the presidential campaign that the election could be stolen from him. He said in November that between 3 and 5 million people had voted illegally, thenrepeated the claim in January.
The closest thing to evidence the White House has pointed to is a 2012 Pew Center on the States study outlining problems with Americas election systems. Although the study notes the prevalence of outdated voter registration, it doesnt offer any evidence that people actually vote illegally.
Trump has also said he is awaiting a report from Gregg Phillips, who has claimed 3 million people voted illegally. Phillips, who has promoted conspiracy theories, said in January that he wouldnt release his evidence for months.
Phillips did not respond to a request for comment.
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