At a rally in Green Bay, Wisconsin on Monday, the Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump alleged that “1.8 million deceased individuals” will vote for “somebody else” in the presidential election. And earlier in an interview with Fox News, he alleged that “illegal immigrants were pouring over the border” to vote across the country.
“Approximately 24 million people, one of every eight voter registrations in the United States are no longer valid or significantly inaccurate,” the Washington Post reports he said. “One in eight! More than 1.8 million deceased individuals right now are listed as voters. Oh, that’s wonderful. Well, if they’re gonna vote for me, we’ll think about it. But I have a feeling they’re not gonna vote for me. Of the 1.8 million, 1.8 million is voting for someone else.”
“There is tremendous voter fraud. And how Republican leadership doesn’t see that is beyond me,” Trump said, according to The Huffington Post. “So many cities are corrupt and voter fraud is all too common.”
“They even want to try to rig the election at the polling booths and believe me there’s a lot going on,” he added, according to Talking Points Memo.
The Republican presidential candidate alleged that the Democrats and Hillary Clinton campaign were actively coordinating the widespread voter fraud and rigging.
Talking Points Memo suggested that Trump may have derived the figure of 1.8 million dead people voting from a 2012 Pew Study that reportedly found that about 1.8 million active voter registrations were deceased persons. But the study concluded that the registrations were not due to fraud or dead people casting ballots but state voter databases that were not updated.
Trump also cited an article by the Washington Post to back his claim that illegal immigrants were voting across the country.
According to the article, authored by two political scientists, enough non-citizens voted in 2008 to influence the outcome of the presidential election in North Carolina, which President Barack Obama won by 14,000 votes.
“It is possible that non-citizen votes were responsible for Obama’s 2008 victory in North Carolina,” Trump reportedly said. “Obama won this state by 14,000 votes… we are going to win in North Carolina, but we don’t want non-citizen voters… It could have provided his [Obama’s] margin of victory.”
But the Huffington Post noted that several experts faulted the claim by the two political scientists, saying it was based on unreliable data gathered from an online survey that relied on voluntary participation rather than random sampling used in scientific polling.
Trump’s latest statements come after previous multiple allegations that the Democratic Party was rigging the election in major urban areas.
However, Politfact, which scored Trump’s claim of widespread “voter fraud” and “rigging” on the “Truth-O-Meter” as “pants on fire,” noted that despite his allegations, multiple independent studies and surveys have found no evidence of planned or orchestrated voter fraud and rigging occurring at a significant level.
Most cases of irregularities in voter registration were found to be due to clerical errors, outdated registration records, poor record keeping, and management rather than deliberately orchestrated voter fraud.
Politifact cited a well-known case of what was thought to be a dead person voting but which turned out to have been due to the polling clerk misspelling the name of a voter.
According to Politifact, cases of deliberately orchestrated voter fraud and rigging are very rare, indeed. They are too rare and limited to have had a significant impact on polling results in the past.
Despite widespread criticism, Trump repeated his initial statements alleging fraud and rigging with a tweet on Sunday.
“The election is absolutely being rigged by the dishonest and distorted media pushing Crooked Hillary — but also at many polling places — SAD,” he said.
The election is absolutely being rigged by the dishonest and distorted media pushing Crooked Hillary - but also at many polling places - SAD— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 16, 2016
“Of course there is large scale voter fraud happening on and before Election Day. Why do Republican leaders deny what is going on? So naive!” he tweeted again on Monday.
Of course there is large scale voter fraud happening on and before election day. Why do Republican leaders deny what is going on? So naive!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 17, 2016
Democrats have denied the allegation that the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) were responsible for voter fraud and rigging. President Barack Obama chided Trump and advised him to “stop whining.”
According to Obama, Trump’s whining shows he does not “have what it takes” to be president.
“It doesn’t really show the kind of leadership and toughness you want in a president,” Obama said. “You start whining before the game is even over? If whenever things are going badly for you, and you lose, you start blaming somebody else? Then you don’t have what it takes to be in this job.”
Republicans have also criticized Trump.
House Speaker Paul Ryan faulted Trump’s allegations of fraud and rigging, expressing confidence in the integrity of the election system, Time reported.
“Our democracy relies on confidence in election results, and the speaker is fully confident the states will carry out this election with integrity,” said a Ryan spokesperson.
Trump later pushed back against Republican criticism of his allegations of voter fraud and rigging.
“Do you ever hear these people? They say ‘there’s nothing going on.’ People that have died 10 years ago are still voting, illegal immigrants are voting — I mean, where are the street smarts of some of these politicians?” he said.
After Trump’s running mate Mike Pence appeared to criticize the claim that the election was rigged, he went on to call for vigilance against voter fraud. He also claimed that the media was trying to tilt the election in Clinton’s favor.
“I have no doubt the national media is trying to rig this election with their biased coverage in Hillary Clinton’s favor,” he said.
“You gotta recognize that the price of freedom and honest democracy is vigilance,” he later added. “Voter fraud cannot be tolerated by anyone in this nation because it disenfranchises Republicans, independents, Democrats, conservatives and liberals in America.”
[Featured Image by Joseph Sohm/Shutterstock]