As the Trump army retreats back to Trump Tower, he is setting fire to pillars of our American democracy. Trump glibly promised to “keep you in suspense” when asked if he would accept the outcome of the election, spitting in the face of 240 years of peaceful transfer of power in this country. As the inevitability of his defeat begins to sink in, Trump has been grasping at more and more outlandish conspiracies to explain to his fragile ego how he could be losing.
As his poll numbers slide, Trump has more and more been talking about voter fraud, making this claim at the debate last night. ” If you look at your voter rolls, you will see millions of people that are registered to vote,” Trump said. “Millions. This isn’t coming from me. This is coming from Pew report and other places. Millions of people that are registered to vote that shouldn’t be registered to vote.”
It is quite rare that Trump quotes a source for his outlandish claims, so he should be commended for that. Unfortunately, he greatly misconstrues what the “Pew report” that he cites said.
Trump implied that the people “that shouldn’t be registered to vote” were committing voter fraud. In the past Trump has alleged, without evidence, that illegal immigrants are “pouring into the country so they can go and vote.” He has also alleged voter fraud in African-American “certain areas” of Philadelphia.
The millions of people mentioned in the Pew report were not committing voter fraud. They were dead. Or had moved to a different state. Or just inaccurate. The report makes no claim that there is fraud occurring, only that our current voter roles are sloppy and that they “need an upgrade.” 1.8 million people on the registrations were dead while 2.75 million had registrations in multiple states. Instances have occurred of deceased voters casting ballots, but FactCheck.org reports that essentially all of these are due to clerical errors or early ballots cast before death.
In person voter fraud is extremely rare, as we’ve said before. Trump doubled down on his campaign of misinformation at the debate as his chances spiral. Trump has incited his supporters to “keep an eye on” the polls, going so far as to illegally sign up Election Observers, prompting very real fears of voter intimidation.