Trump to create commission investigating non-existent voter fraud

Trump's own lawyers have stated in legal filings that there was no evidence of fraud in the November 8 election. Photograph:( AFP )

WION Washington, United States Feb 06, 2017, 03.36 AM (IST)

Donald Trump said on Sunday he is creating a commission headed by Vice President Mike Pence to investigate what the US leader portrays as massive voter fraud in the 2016 election.

No public evidence has emerged of large-scale illegal voting in the November election, and Trump and the White House have failed to substantiate the president's claim. In fact there is positive proof that the voter fraud Trump is talking about is virtually non-existent, USA Today reports.

In fact US intelligence claims that Russia meddled in the presidential vote by hacking Democratic Party emails as part of a pro-Trump campaign. Senators have launched a bipartisan investigation. Trump has not said that Pence's investigation will address Russia's involvement.

But Trump listed the ways he says he believes voter fraud occurred during an interview with Fox News's Bill O'Reilly which aired before the Super Bowl on Sunday.

The fraud was apparent, Trump said, "when you look at the registration and you see dead people that have voted, when you see people that are registered in two states that voted in two states, when you see other things, when you see illegals -- people that are not citizens -- and they are on the registration rolls."

"It's really a bad situation. It's really bad," Trump said. Trump's own lawyers have stated in legal filings that there was no evidence of fraud in the November 8 election. On Sunday the president promised, "to set up a commission to be headed by Vice President Mike Pence and we're going to look at it very, very carefully".

 

Voter fraud vs voter suppression

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) President and CEO Cornell William Brooks has said that voter fraud is a myth, voter suppression, however, is not. Citing studies conducted by the Washington Post and the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University, Arizona, he said it has been proven that voter suppression is almost non-existent. 

“The Washington Post’s 2015 study showed that between 2000 and 2014 there were only 31 alleged cases of in-person voter fraud among the over 1 billion votes cast in the United States during that time period. Yet, this supposed widespread voter fraud is consistently used as justification for voting restrictions that suppress the votes of African-Americans and Latinos,” he said. 

He also added that a number of federal courts across the US have determined that certain states, like Texas, enacted voting restrictions that discriminated against Black and Latino Americans.

Trump has previously claimed--again, despite solid evidence to the contrary--that were it not for illegal immigrants voting he would have won not just the electoral college but also the popular vote, which was taken by Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton.

A New York Times article claims that Trump, who in business and politics is always conscious of his brand and reputation, was angry about reports that correctly claimed that Clinton earned about 2.8 million more votes than Trump.

Despite Trump's claim that he won the election in a "landslide", he is only the fourth-ever president to win office despite losing the popular vote. 

(WION with inputs from AFP)