The Real Danger Behind Pres. Trump's Stance on Voter Fraud

January 24th 2017

Danielle DeCourcey

President Donald Trump's press secretary recently said at a White House press conference that Trump believes a widely debunked and ongoing false claim about voter fraud. However, some voting rights experts say the continuation of this sort of misinformation could be part of a more dangerous strategy to restrict the voting rights of Americans. 

"It definitely perpetuates a myth that has been debunked over and over again," Jennifer Clark, counsel for the Brennan Center's Democracy Program told ATTN:. 

Before and after the 2016 presidential election, Trump repeatedly said that millions of people voted illegally, going as far as even tweeting the claim in November. 

Trump made the claim, again, at a Monday reception with members of Congress, according to The Hill.  Then, at Tuesday's press briefing, reporters questioned Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, about the claim to which he said that Trump has supporting evidence. 

“He continues to maintain that belief based on studies and evidence that people have presented to him,” Spicer said.

“I’ve seen no evidence to that effect,” House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) told reporters Tuesday in regards to the Trump administration's claims. “I’ve made that very very clear.”

There were only 31 incidences of voter fraud in out of 1 billion votes from 2000 to 2014, according to a study by Loyola Law School. 

So why does the Trump administration continue to maintain that voter fraud occurred?


Despite Trump winning the presidential election, keeping the conversation about voter fraud going could have political advantages, according to Clark. 

"The myth has been used in the past to restrict voting laws," said Clark to ATTN:. "I think you can look around the country and see a lot of examples at the state level and through our national discourse of this argument."  

Restrictive laws, like voter ID laws, have historically disenfranchised low-income groups, minorities and transgender voters. There are significant numbers of voters from these groups who have traditionally voted for the Democratic Party. 


Clark said that increased voting restrictions is "something to watch out for" under the Trump administration because members of his administration like Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), Trump's attorney general pick, could push to further erode federal protections for voting rights. 

"At the end of the day a lot of the legislation around voting happens at the state level rather than the federal level," she said. "When you have examples of new voting restrictions at the state level and examples on the federal level working really hard to diminish federal protections for voting rights, that's something to be concerned about." 

Watch ATTN:'s video with Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) and Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) to learn more about voter ID laws. 

Millions of people can't vote this year because they don't have a government-issued photo ID.

Posted by ATTN: on Thursday, September 8, 2016

RELATED: Trump Has Already Filed His First Voter Fraud Lawsuit