This is an ongoing feature keeping track of the lack of evidence to support President Donald Trump’s 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.
UPDATE: March 24 ― Trump stuck by his claim of voter fraud, even though there’s no evidence, saying he’s just going with his gut. “I’m a very instinctual person, but my instinct turns out to be right,” he told Time magazine.
March 22 ― FEC commissioner Ellen Weintraub renewed her call for Trump to release evidence of voter fraud in New Hampshire. Secretaries of state across the country say they haven’t heard anything from Trump about his promised voter fraud investigation.
March 14 ― The Trump administration still has not released evidence of voter fraud, and apparently hasn’t been all that pressed to contact people to help find it. NPR reported Saturday that many voter fraud experts have yet to be approached by the Trump administration.
President Donald Trump still hasn’t provided any evidence of voter fraud in the U.S., despite repeatedly claiming that it’s 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 claim last month during 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) didn’t retain her seat because thousands 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 hasn’t 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 who’s worked in New Hampshire politics. It’s very real, it’s very serious,” Miller said two days after Trump’s initial claim.
Apparently, it isn’t so widely known. New Hampshire election officials said immediately after Trump’s statement that there was no evidence of fraud in the state. The president’s claim baffled Allen Raymond, who wrote a book on election fraud in New Hampshire. And Corey Lewandowski, Trump’s former campaign manager who started out in New Hampshire politics, said there wasn’t 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 doesn’t have any evidence of illegal voting in his state, and contacted the White House seeking Trump’s evidence of voter fraud.
“We’ve talked a little bit, and I basically said, ‘Look, if there’s real evidence out there that you have that we don’t have, we’re happy to talk about that and take a look at it,’” Sununu said last month.
“As I’ve said in the past, I’m 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 hasn’t 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 Justice reversed its position in a lawsuit against Texas over the state’s voter ID law. The Obama administration had sided with the plaintiffs in the case, who argue that the law intentionally discriminates against minorities.
“It’s a scare tactic ― if he talks about it long enough, states might take up photo ID bills, noting ‘the president said there’s fraud,’” Allegra Chapman, director of voting and elections at Common Cause, wrote in an email.
“As we’ve seen before, Pres. Trump is a master manipulator; he’s puppeteering here to get others to do the dirty work,” she added. “State legislators, though, shouldn’t 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 somehow were bused in from neighboring states like Massachusetts, researchers from Dartmouth College found it didn’t 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, then repeated 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 America’s election systems. Although the study notes the prevalence of outdated voter registration, it doesn’t 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 wouldn’t release his evidence for months.
Phillips did not respond to a request for comment.