Voter fraud is the illegal interference with the process of an election on the part of a voter. It can consist of attempts to vote multiple times (perhaps by registration in multiple locales), attempting to vote when you are not legally registered (convicted felons lose the right to vote for life), or any form of vote buying.
In August 2016, three months before the presidential election, and in an unprecedented statement for a major party nominee, Trump said he was afraid the election would be “rigged.” The claim was largely viewed in the media as an intentional distraction from a disastrous few days after his criticism of Gold Star parents of a Muslim soldier killed in Iraq. But the statement became a common thread through his campaign stops as the election drew closer with Trump even going so far as to encourage supporters to go to the polls and monitor voters.
In his campaign speeches Trump returned to three points with regularity:
- “People that have died 10 years ago are still voting.”
- There is a massive problem with “illegal immigrants [who] are voting.”
- “Voter fraud is very, very, common.”
These statements have been proven false.
When Trump won the election in November, most expected the voter fraud narrative to die away. But as Hillary Clinton supporters repeatedly pointed to the profound discrepancy between the popular vote and the Electoral College results, Trump and his team began to tweet out statements suggesting he would have won the popular vote if illegal immigrants hadn’t voted. When these claims were widely denounced, Trump doubled down in true Trump fashion and announced he would be issuing an executive order initiating an investigation into voter fraud in the election.
This page will track Trump’s record regarding voter fraud and any investigations into the issue.
2016.10.18 Trump spokesperson, citing a debunked blog post, said that Obama only won in North Carolina in 2008 because of voter fraud. mediaite.com (See also 2016 Election) 2017.01.25 The White House says an inquiry into baseless claims of illegal voting will spare states that voted Trump. theatlantic.com (See also First 100 Days) 2017.01.25 This is a transcript of ABC News anchor David Muir’s interview with President Trump. abcnews.go.com (See also First 100 Days, Mexico Wall, NAFTA, Trade, Jeff Sessions, John Kelly, DACA, James Mattis, Mike Pompeo, Iraq, Infrastructure, Affordable Care Act, Muslim Immigration Ban) 2017.01.25 Trump could sign an executive order or presidential memorandum initiating an investigation into voter fraud as early as January 26. cnn.com (See also First 100 Days) 2017.01.25 Trump is planning to launch an investigation of ‘voter fraud’ but one area that he highlighted–voters registered in two states–appears to include Stephen Bannon and Ivanka Trump washingtonpost.com (See also First 100 Days, Ivanka Trump, Steve Bannon) 2017.01.26 Trump's Treasury cabinet nominee, Steven Mnuchin, is registered to vote in two states. cnn.com (See also Steven Mnuchin) 2017.01.26 With Kushner and Spicer, The Washington Post has now identified five Trump family members or top administration appointees who were registered in two states during the fall election. washingtonpost.com (See also Jared Kushner, Sean Spicer) 2017.01.27 Trump's voter fraud expert, Gregg Phillips, who spurred Trump’s calls to investigate election results, was accused of lying in government job applications, has faced ethics allegations and owes US more than $100,000 in unpaid taxes. theguardian.com 2017.01.30 A man who President Donald Trump has promoted as an authority on voter fraud was registered to vote in 3 states during the 2016 presidential election. apnews.com (See also First 100 Days, Assaults on Facts) 2017.02.05 McConnell rebukes Trump's judge attack and distances himself from the president on Russia, voter fraud and the travel ban politico.com (See also First 100 Days, Assaults on Government, Russia, Muslim Immigration Ban) 2017.02.07 As Trump falsely claims widespread voter fraud, Republican-led committee divides along party lines over independent election commission meant to help states improve voting systems and votes to eliminate them. theguardian.com (See also First 100 Days, False Statements, Assaults on Facts, Corruption) 2017.02.10 FEC commissioner calls on Trump to show evidence of voter fraud thehill.com (See also First 100 Days, Assaults on Government) 2017.02.12 Policy advisor Stephen Miller advances false claims about voter fraud and says White House will fight for Muslim immigration ban. washingtonpost.com (See also Assaults on Facts, False Statements, First 100 Days, Muslim Immigration Ban, Stephen Miller) 2017.02.12 Top Trump aide Stephen Miller spreads voter-fraud claims that have been repeatedly found to be exaggerated or false. washingtonpost.com (See also First 100 Days, Stephen Miller, False Statements) 2017.02.14 No non-citizens voted in voter fraud case cited by White House Trump’s deputy press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders. theguardian.com (See also False Statements, First 100 Days, Assaults on Facts) 2017.03.22 Former Colorado GOP chairman who claimed in October 2016 that voter fraud is committed exclusively by Democrats is charged with voter fraud. washingtonpost.com (See also First 100 Days) 2017.07.17 Vice chair of Trump’s voter fraud commission wants to change federal law to add new requirements for voting, email shows washingtonpost.com (See also Voter Suppression) 2017.11.21 The Trump administration is leaning toward naming Thomas Brunell, a Texas professor with no government experience, to the top operational job at the U.S. Census Bureau, as he has testified more than half a dozen times on behalf of Republican efforts to redraw congressional districts, and is the author of a 2008 book titled “Redistricting and Representation: Why Competitive Elections Are Bad for America.” politico.com (See also Assaults on Civil Liberties, Voter Suppression) 2017.12.05 Donald Trump’s voter fraud commission, after this summer's sweeping request to state officials to submit voter data, plans to create a massive voter database, which could be manipulated, leading the administration to wrongfully purge legitimate voters. washingtonpost.com (See also Unprecedented Actions, Fascism, Voter Suppression) 2018.01.03 The White House announced Wednesday that Donald Trump is dissolving his voter fraud commission after states failed to hand over requested information. thehill.com (See also Voter Suppression, False Statements, 2016 Election, Reversals) 2018.01.09 The White House intends to destroy voter data collected by the election fraud commission recently shut down by Donald Trump, rather than transfer it to the Department of Homeland Security or the National Archives and Records Administration. politico.com (See also Corruption, Voter Suppression, Department of Homeland Security) 2018.02.22 The head of a federal commission who has helped U.S. states protect election systems from possible cyber attacks by Russia or others is being replaced at the behest of Republican House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan and the White House. reuters.com (See also Russian Meddling in Election, Cybersecurity) 2018.04.05 Donald Trump ditched his “boring” prepared remarks at a tax roundtable in West Virginia, and instead repeated his claim that “millions” of people are voting illegally and boasted that he was right about the threat of Mexican rapists. politico.com (See also False Statements, Voter Suppression, Mexico, Unpresidential Behavior) 2018.08.03 Maine Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap, a Democrat who served on President Donald Trump’s voter fraud commission, published a trove of documents that he said show zero signs of mass voter fraud, declaring that the White House’s claims about wide-scale fraud are "false." buzzfeednews.com (See also False Statements) 2018.09.05 Federal prosecutors have issued sweeping subpoenas demanding that millions of North Carolina voter records be turned over to immigration authorities by Sept. 25, with just two months to go before the midterms, sowing chaos in the state’s election machinery, while renewing the Trump administration’s repeatedly discredited claims of widespread voting by illegal immigrants. nytimes.com (See also Unprecedented Actions, Voter Suppression, Immigration, Department of Justice)