2017-02-02 / Editorials & Opinions

Trump’s voter fraud claim a lie

Speak Out
Maureen Floryan

Why isn’t the nonsense about massive voter fraud refuted clearly, as it was on Lawrence O’Donnell’s cable news program recently?

Do the names of dead people appear on voting rolls? Yup. But dead people don’t vote and eventually their names are culled from voting lists. Do others steal elections by voting in the dead person’s name? Highly unlikely. What if a poll worker said, “Um, I knew the late John Smith. You’re not John Smith.” What if election officials had updated the rolls last month in advance of the election and John Smith’s name had been purged? The fake John Smith would have no clue about that. The fake John Smith now faces arrest and severe punishment, including a hefty fine and possible jail time for impersonating a voter. All that for stealing one vote. Trump thinks this happened 3-5 million times on Election Day and no one noticed?

As O’Donnell pointed out, when your mom dies, do you call city or town hall and ask that her name be removed from voter rolls? Not on your to-do list.

Do people move and then register to vote in a new city or state? All the time. If you have done this, did you remember to call your former town or city clerk to inform them so that your name will be removed from the rolls? Some people do. Most don’t. Your name appears on the list, no one votes, and eventually the rolls are updated and your name goes away. Did 3-5 million people drive or fly from state to state double voting? No, they didn’t.

Do people sometimes register to vote using ridiculous handles like Mickey Mouse? They do. Then Mickey doesn’t show up to vote. Registrations are checked by election officials and false ones are discarded. Registration fraud is not voter fraud. No vote has been cast.

Millions of non-citizens waltzed into polling places on Nov. 8 and stole the popular vote from Donald Trump? Poll workers, city and town clerks, the media, the volunteers and officials who oversee national elections, all turned a blind eye? Thirty Republican secretaries of state just shrugged as hordes of non-citizens mobbed polling places and were allowed to vote? No one objected, or reported it or even noticed? No one said “You’re not on the list?”

There are indeed some instances of voter fraud in absentee ballot voting. There are clerical errors in the voter rolls such as the above-mentioned names of the dead being carried over. There are registrations in more than one locality that have not yet been cleaned up. The wrong box is sometimes checked off by a poll worker. A misspelling leads to a mix-up. Wrong address. Most of these mistakes are promptly corrected then and there by your local municipality’s election officers. In any case, they are not voter fraud. They were unintentional and in most instances not even the fault of the voter.

Election fraud takes place when ballot boxes are stuffed or disappear or when machines are rigged. Elections are “stolen” when thousands of people who haven’t voted recently are purged from the rolls and not informed that this has taken place. Election fraud is the elderly woman who has voted for years being turned away from the polls because she can’t deliver the newly demanded paperwork. That’s voter suppression and it is the real election fraud, not voter fraud.

Trump’s claim that 3-5 million people committed voter fraud in the 2016 presidential election is an unhinged lie.

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