Donald Trump has apparently decided that embarrassing himself and the GOP is not enough, and has decided to strike at the very heart of American democracy. He expanded on his litany of “this election is rigged” this morning tweeting that “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 Trump is no longer just talking about the media “rigging” the election against by reporting on the horrible things past and present that have tumbled from his mouth. Trump is no longer just talking about watching “certain” (ie African American) people in disputed polling stations in Philadelphia. Trump is now attempting to cast doubt upon the entire American system of democracy, trying to justify a loss weeks before a vote is cast.
This is the swan song of the petulant loser, the likes of which America has perhaps never seen. The hubris required is staggering. To think that despite dozens of allegations of sexual harassment, alienating nearly every minority in the country, being incapable of maintaining any semblance of truth and running a campaign completely lacking in any sort of coherent policy that the only way that you could lose an election is voter fraud.
While his assertion seems ludicrous on its face, did the Trump campaign provide any evidence that there was voter fraud going on?
In a word, no.
According to Politifact, the Trump campaign pointed to a few pieces of “evidence.”
The Trump campaign cited a discredited study that said that 6.4% of non-citizens in the US voted. There are multiple problems with this study, namely that most of the data was self-reported on the Internet.
When studying whether a photo ID is needed to prevent voter fraud, the Carnegie Corporation and James L. Knight Foundation found that there were a total of just 216 alleged cases of voter fraud from 2000 to 2011.
Voter fraud does happen, but it is vanishingly rare and unlikely to ever impact any but the closest elections. Donald Trump has already conceded the election and is now blaming the referees. Donald Trump is engaging in a scorched earth policy, trying to burn down our precious democracy that has all but rejected him. This is the most dangerous statement Donald Trump has ever made.