Voting booths are set up for early voting at the Black Hawk County Courthouse on September 27, 2012 in Waterloo, Iowa. 
Photo by Scott Olson/Getty

Counting the documented cases of voter fraud in 2016

Donald Trump doesn’t appear to be comfortable with the fact that he lost the popular vote. I suppose it’s hard to blame him: the president-elect is taking office with the knowledge that Americans were given a choice between two major-party candidates, and he came in second.

To make himself feel better, Trump recently declared that it only looks like he lost the popular vote – which the Republican believes he secretly won “if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally.” Trump, of course, was brazenly lying, and neither he nor his aides have been able to substantiate the claim in anyway.

Nevertheless, folks like Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach and the RNC’s Sean Spicer have dutifully stuck to Trump’s script, pretending that the fraud claims have merit, even though reality points in a very different direction.

Nearly all of the fact-checking pieces have thoroughly documented that the fraud claims are ridiculously untrue, but were there any documented cases of fraud? We know the “millions” claim is absurd, but was the total number of fraudulent votes literally zero? The Washington Post did some digging:
We combed through the news-aggregation system Nexis to find demonstrated cases of absentee or in-person voter fraud – which is to say, examples of people getting caught casting a ballot that they shouldn’t – during this election. This excludes examples of voter registration fraud – the filing of fraudulent voter registration information. Those aren’t votes cast – and given that organizations often provide incentives for employees to register as many people as possible, registration fraud cases (while still rare) are more common.
The Post’s research found a grand total of four documented instances of voters attempted to cast fraudulent votes. Not four percent, literally four individuals.

And most of them were Republicans.

No, really. A Trump voter in Iowa got caught trying to vote twice in Des Moines, and when asked for an explanation, she said, “The polls are rigged.” She was joined by a Texas Republican who claimed to be associated with the Trump campaign who tried to vote twice because he wanted to “test” the integrity of the system. (Evidently, the system works fine.) Also, a Republican woman in Illinois was caught filling out an absentee ballot for her deceased husband.

None of these votes, by the way, were counted.

As for the fourth case, a woman was hired to open absentee ballots in Miami-Dade County, and she was caught filling in others’ ballots in support of a Republican mayoral candidate.

That’s it. There are no other documented cases of voter fraud in the entire country in 2016. These four represent 0.000002% of the ballots cast, and again, they weren’t actually included in any official tallies.

If you’ve been led to believe fraud is a genuine problem in American elections, someone has tried to fool you.



Election Fraud and Voter Fraud

Counting the documented cases of voter fraud in 2016