Politics

President Trump's Voter Fraud Lies Are Already Influencing Policy

February 19th 2017

By:
Willie Burnley Jr.

President Donald Trump has repeatedly claimed without evidence that as many as 3 to 5 million illegal votes were cast in the election that he won and that none were for him. Instead of taking this claim as an insult that implied that the GOP failed to keep their states’ franchises sufficiently protected, many Republican officials who help run elections are capitalizing on it.

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Republican officials at an annual conference for secretaries of state cited Trump’s bold accusation while asserting support for passing voter ID laws, eliminating same-day registration, and other measures that would make it harder to vote, ThinkProgress reported

At the same conference, California Secretary of State Alex Padilla was blocked from introducing a resolution that was critical of Trump's comments on illegal voting and urged him to “cease his baseless allegations about voter fraud." 

Padilla told The Los Angeles Times Friday, "It's shocking that secretaries of state from both sides of the aisle don't want to stand up and defend our credibility."

So far this year, 12 state legislatures are already considering passing restrictive voter ID laws, the majority of which have already introduced a bill. For proponents of these laws, its passage will ensure the security of the ballot box from non-citizens voting or even citizens voting multiple times during the same election.

For opponents, these bills have often been portrayed as a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist, with a mountain of evidence that seems to prove it which suggests that the crackdown on voter fraud may just be simply a war against the ability to vote itself.

The effort to pass restrictive voting laws far predates Trump’s foray into politics and has been the goal of many Republican legislatures.

Those most impacted by voter ID laws, for example, are usually people of color, trans people, and young voters, the vast majority of which often do not support Republican candidates. Many of those same communities also benefit from policies that expand the ability to vote, such as early voting, same-day registration, and an increase in polling stations.