February 13, 2017 by David K. Sutton
The Trump-Republican Voter Fraud Fiction
With Donald Trump’s continued vanity project, winning the electoral college and the presidency wasn’t enough. It must really stick in his craw that he lost the popular vote. So, he must do as all autocratic leaders do. Lie. And so Trump spins a tale about millions of people who voted illegally, and amazingly all for Hillary Clinton.
While Trump operates at the level of the superficial, there’s little doubt Steve Bannon and crew are interested in stoking the voter fraud narrative as means to assert the need for voting restrictions. And this is nothing new. It has been a hallmark of the Republican Party to suppress the vote under the guise of voting integrity. Pay no attention to the fact that in-person voter fraud is statistically nonexistent. By passing voter laws that make it harder for minorities and the urban poor to vote, Republicans are targeting a solidly Democratic constituency, hindering their ability to exercise their rights as citizens. Trump and fellow Republicans appear to have no problem undermining democracy to the benefit of the Republican Party. Although to be fair, the lie Republicans tell themselves is that widespread voter fraud exists, how else to explain why so many people vote for the Democratic Party?
Trump says dead people are registered to vote, a line likely lifted from the mouths of Fox News blowhards. Trump says people are registered to vote in more than one state. Again, standard right-wing boilerplate. But here’s the thing. Just because a dead person is registered to vote doesn’t mean someone voted in their name. It’s a giant leap to go from out-of-date voter rolls to in-person voter fraud. Trump and Republicans never explain what would incentivize a person to commit in-person voter fraud. At least Trump tries to tell us an army of millions committed this crime, because that’s exactly what you would need to pull it off. And why would millions of people agree to do this? How would you coordinate this massive effort involving millions? The logistics are staggering, but somehow they pulled it off, entirely on the down-low, and only Trump was smart enough to sniff it out.
Since the Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act in 2013, Republicans have been further emboldened to restrict access to the ballot, targeting same-day voter registration, early voting, even using data to specifically disenfranchise African-American voters. When it comes to voter suppression, Republicans have been rather unabashed, which is what makes Trump’s voter fraud claim so insidious. On the surface it’s just the latest in a non-stop stream of frivolous and inappropriate claims by Donald Trump. But because Trump voters hang on his every word, and because they are more likely to believe him than just about anyone else, the door is now wide open for Republicans to take their voter suppression tactics to a whole new level just in time for the 2018 midterm election cycle.