ELECTIONS

How much voter fraud exists in US elections?

Oct 23, 2020, 5:06 PM | Updated: Oct 29, 2020, 3:36 pm

Voter fraud...

President Donald Trump stands on the balcony as he returns to the White House on Oct. 5, 2020 after leaving Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, in Bethesda, Md. Trump announced he tested positive for COVID-19 on Oct. 2. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

It is more likely . . .  that an American ‘will be struck by lightning than that he will impersonate another voter at the polls.’

 

Perhaps reports of dead people voting inspired this quip from Gov. Earl Long: “When I die, I want to be buried in Louisiana, so I can stay active in politics.”

Vote twice?

President Donald Trump has repeatedly claimed without evidence that mail-in voting this year in the United States is fraught with fraud. In fact, during a trip to North Carolina he encouraged residents to vote twice (once by mail and once in person, which is a federal crime) to test the worthiness of the voting system in the state.

Recently, Mr. Trump has even suggested he won’t commit to a peaceful transfer of power if he loses in November because of mail-in ballots.

“We’re going to have to see what happens,” the president said during a news conference Sept. 23. “You knew that I’ve been complaining very strongly about the ballots, and the ballots are a disaster. Get rid of the ballots and you’ll have a very peaceful — there won’t be a transfer, frankly. There’ll be a continuation.” 

 

 

 

 

“If it’s as good as they say it is then obviously they won’t be able to vote. If it isn’t tabulated, they’ll be able to vote,” Trump said.

Posted by Business Insider on Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Although Mr. Trump has blasted mail-in voting as “RIPE for FRAUD” on Twitter, the president himself has used the method. When asked by a reporter about his vote by mail in the Florida presidential primary in August, Mr. Trump said he did that “because I’m allowed to.”

But how much voter fraud is happening now in this presidential election and how much has occurred in the past?

After unsubstantiated claims that “millions and millions” of fraudulent votes were cast in the 2016 election and had cost him the popular vote, in 2017 Trump created the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity to investigate claims of voter fraud. 

But the commission disbanded seven months after its first meeting without establishing a report on fraud. The White House blamed the cost of potential lawsuits and uncooperative states for the failure to produce evidence of widespread voter fraud, according to an investigation in USA TODAY published Oct. 20.

How much or little voter fraud is out there?

The Brennan Center’s seminal report on this issue, The Truth About Voter Fraud, found that most reports of voter fraud are 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% and 0.0025%. Given this tiny rate for voter impersonation fraud, it is more likely, the report said, that an American “will be struck by lightning than that he will impersonate another voter at the polls.”

comprehensive 2014 study from 2000 to 2014 in The Washington Post found just 31 credible instances of impersonation fraud out of more than 1 billion ballots cast. 

“The verdict is in from every corner that voter fraud is sufficiently rare that it simply could not and does not happen at the rate even approaching that which would be required to ‘rig’ an election,” the Brennan Center concluded.

Attempts to block the vote

  • Last month, a Nevada judge dismissed a case filed by Trump’s re-election campaign that tried to bar the state from mailing ballots to all active voters.
  • Two conservative operatives were charged earlier this month with using a hoax phone call to discourage Black voters in Illinois from mailing their ballots. In the call, a woman’s voice tells voters their personal information would be added to a public database and that they could be arrested for outstanding warrants or be forced to participate in COVID-19 vaccine trials, according to a report Oct. 6 by Politico.

“Don’t be finessed into giving your private information to ‘the man,’” the woman said. “Stay safe and beware of vote by mail.”

  • And, lastly, in the largest effort to suppress the vote in the United States, President Trump in August said he opposed including $25 billion for the U.S. Postal Service in emergency funding included in a coronavirus-relief bill.

“They need that money in order to have the post office work so it can take all of these millions and millions of ballots,” Mr. Trump said during an interview with Maria Bartiromo of Fox Business. “If they don’t get those two items, that means you can’t have universal mail-in voting because they’re not equipped to have it.”

On Mr. Trump’s attempt to suppress voting by starving the beleaguered Postal Service during a pandemic, former President Barack Obama said: “What we’ve seen in a way that is unique to modern political history is a president who is explicit in trying to discourage people from voting. What we’ve never seen before is a president say, ‘I’m going to try to actively kneecap the Postal Service to encourage voting, and I will be explicit about the reason I’m doing it.’ That’s sort of unheard of.”

NAACP President Derrick Johnson told BuzzFeed News in August that the Trump administration’s interference with the Postal Service was “the most blatant attempt to suppress voters in modern history at least since the voter suppression tactics of the 1960s.”

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Elections

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump speaks at a primary election night ...

MEG KINNARD and WILL WEISSERT Associated Press

Trump wins South Carolina, easily beating Haley in her home state and closing in on GOP nomination

Donald Trump won South Carolina's Republican primary on Saturday further consolidating his path to a third straight GOP nomination.

2 days ago

Example of ranked choice voting ballot. Twelve cities across Utah will participate in ranked choice...

Adam Small

Utah House passes bill that would end rank choice voting

Utah's ranked choice voting pilot program may come to and early end as the House passes a bill ending the program.

4 days ago

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump holds gold Trump sneakers at Sneake...

MICHAEL R. SISAK Associated Press

Here’s a look inside Donald Trump’s $355 million civil fraud verdict as an appeals fight looms

On the witness stand last year, Donald Trump proclaimed: "I have a lot of cash." After Friday's eye-popping penalty in his New York civil fraud trial, he's going to need it.

9 days ago

nick clegg...

Associated Press

Tech companies sign accord to combat AI-generated election trickery

Tech executives from Amazon, Google, Meta, Microsoft, OpenAI and TikTok gathered to announce a new framework for responding to AI-generated deepfakes.

10 days ago

Gov. Spencer Cox speaks to reporters at the PBS monthly news conference at the Eccles Broadcast Cen...

Bridger Beal-Cvetko, KSL.com

Gov. Cox predicts a Donald Trump victory in the upcoming presidential election

The governor blamed President Joe Biden for not taking a tougher stance to stem the flow of migrants.

11 days ago

Voting signs at West Valley City Hall in West Valley on Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2023....

Adam Small

Utah’s lieutenant governor would lose election authority with new bill

A new bill takes election authority from lieutenant governor's office and creates a voting council instead.

20 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Mother and cute toddler child in a little fancy wooden cottage, reading a book, drinking tea and en...

Visit Bear Lake

How to find the best winter lodging in Bear Lake, Utah

Winter lodging in Bear Lake can be more limited than in the summer, but with some careful planning you can easily book your next winter trip.

Happy family in winter clothing at the ski resort, winter time, watching at mountains in front of t...

Visit Bear Lake

Ski more for less: Affordable ski resorts near Bear Lake, Utah

Plan your perfect ski getaway in Bear Lake this winter, with pristine slopes, affordable tickets, and breathtaking scenery.

front of the Butch Cassidy museum with a man in a cowboy hat standing in the doorway...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking Back: The History of Bear Lake

The history of Bear Lake is full of fascinating stories. At over 250,000 years old, the lake has seen generations of people visit its shores.

silhouette of a family looking over a lake with a bird in the top corner flying...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

8 Fun Activities To Do in Bear Lake Without Getting in the Water

Bear Lake offers plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy without having to get in the water. Catch 8 of our favorite activities.

Wellsville Mountains in the spring with a pond in the foreground...

Wasatch Property Management

Advantages of Renting Over Owning a Home

Renting allows you to enjoy luxury amenities and low maintenance without the long-term commitment and responsibilities of owning a home.

Clouds over a red rock vista in Hurricane, Utah...

Wasatch Property Management

Why Southern Utah is a Retirement Paradise

Retirement in southern Utah offers plenty of cultural and recreational opportunities. Find out all that this region has to offer.

How much voter fraud exists in US elections?