I think a lot of us thought these “voter fraud” accusations made by President Donald Trump after the election were in the rearview mirror for him and the country.
Turns out Trump has no rearview mirror, only a windshield splattered with the insects of insecurity that keep bugging him about his failure to win the popular vote in the the 2016 presidential election.
What I don’t get is that Trump still struggles with the fact that he won the presidency, and he ought to move on.
It is a dangerous and damaging thing to assert that our voting system can’t be trusted just to provide an excuse why Hillary Clinton won about 3 million more votes (remember that number) — especially when there is so little incidence and evidence of voter fraud detected in Idaho and the rest of the nation:
▪ During the last general election there were only four incidences of voter fraud in Idaho: two individuals who had already cast absentee ballots showed up and tried to vote at the polls. One, an “elderly man,” claimed he had forgotten he had cast the absentee ballot; and a man and his wife who had voted in Oregon crossed the border and allegedly voted in Idaho, too. All of these incidences have been referred for prosecution, according to Tim Hurst, Idaho’s chief deputy for the secretary of state. Hurst is in contact with state election officials around the country and none of them can understand Trump’s charges about mass voter fraud.
▪ ProPublica, an independent nonprofit newsroom that produces investigative journalism based in New York, partnered with other organizations to monitor the Nov. 8, 2016, general election around the country. A team of “more than 1,000 people, including about 600 journalism school students poring over social media reports and more than 400 local journalists who signed up to receive tips on what we found,” had access to a database of thousands of calls made to a nonpartisan legal hotline. “We had four of the nation’s leading voting experts in the room with us and election sources across the country. Thousands of people texted us to tell us about their voting experience in the public interest.” The conclusion: “We saw many types of problems. We did not see mass voter fraud of any kind — especially of the sort Donald Trump alleges.”
▪ The New York Times reported that Trump continues to charge that “3 million illegal immigrants cast ballots for Hillary Clinton, calling on Wednesday for an investigation into voter fraud, even though his own legal team has argued that no such fraud occurred.”
I try not to react to every individual Trump tweet because a presidency is a long-term endeavor composed of a lot of small talk, big ideas and profound decisions. I want Trump and the country to succeed — and that can’t happen when he goes on a voter fraud snipe hunt every few months.
Perhaps this is a clumsy attempt to push for nationalized elections or voter IDs. Or a circuitous route to cleaning up messy voter registration rolls in some states. Then why not just say so? And why do Trump’s handlers and the GOP Congress stand by when Trump goes off the rails on this issue?
“Mr. Trump is fishing. There is no instance of rampant voter fraud that he is talking about,” said Hurst. “Those Chicago voters who are dead, that’s a fairy tale stemming back to the days when Mayor Richard Daley was running. It doesn’t happen today.”
I say bring on the Trump probe to settle the matter on one condition: When the results come in and inevitably debunk mass voter fraud, Trump has to get up and admit it, as he did when he finally put to rest all of his “birther” baloney.