Just how big a problem is voter fraud?Just a few weeks after his election day victory, then-President Elect Donald Trump turned a few heads by posting that he won not only the electoral college, but also the popular vote if you “deduct the millions of people who voted illegally.”
It seemed like an irrelevant point to make. Not only had he already won, there was no evidence to suggest voter fraud on the scale Trump alleged. In fact, by the end of November, only four cases of voter fraud had been documented in the 2016 election. Of course, that doesn’t mean that there were only four cases of voter fraud.As The Federalist’s John Gibbs puts it “does the fact that 109 people were cited for jaywalking in Seattle in 2009 mean that only 109 people jaywalked in Seattle that year? Does the fact that 103,733 people were cited for driving without a seat-belt in Tennessee in 2015 mean that only that many people were driving without seatbelt in Tennessee in 2015? Obviously not.”
There’s a possibility for voter fraud — but not much evidence for it…until now.
According to the Washington Times:A research group in New Jersey has taken a fresh look at post-election polling data and concluded that the number of non-citizens voting illegally in U.S. elections is likely far greater than previous estimates.
As many as 5.7 million non-citizens may have voted in the 2008 election, which put Barack Obama in the White House. The research organization Just Facts, a widely cited, independent think tank led by self-described conservatives and libertarians, revealed its number-crunching in a report on national immigration.
Just Facts President James D. Agresti and his team looked at data from an extensive Harvard/YouGov study that every two years questions a sample size of tens of thousands of voters. Some acknowledge they are non-citizens and are thus ineligible to vote.Just Facts’ conclusions confront both sides in the illegal voting debate: those who say it happens a lot and those who say the problem nonexistent. In one camp, there are groundbreaking studies by professors at Old Dominion University in Virginia who attempted to compile scientifically derived illegal voting numbers using the Harvard data, called the Cooperative Congressional Election Study.
On the other side are the professors who conducted the study and contended that “zero” non-citizens of about 18 million adults in the U.S. voted. The liberal mainstream media adopted this position and proclaimed the Old Dominion work was “debunked.”
Mr. Agresti’s analysis of the same polling data settled on much higher numbers. He estimated that as many as 7.9 million non-citizens were illegally registered that year and 594,000 to 5.7 million voted.These numbers are more in line with the unverified estimates given by President Trump, who said the number of ballots cast by non-citizens was the reason he lost the popular vote to Hillary Clinton.
Last month, the president signed an executive order setting up a commission to try to find on-the-ground truth in illegal voting. Headed by Vice President Mike Pence, the panel also will look at outdated voter lists across the nation with names of dead people and multiple registrants.
For 2012, Just Facts said, 3.2 million to 5.6 million non-citizens were registered to vote and 1.2 million to 3.6 million of them voted.
Now, just because they’re registered to vote doesn’t mean they voted illegally — but the million dollar question is, of course, why would they be registered to vote if they didn’t plan on voting?
Mr. Agresti lays out his reasoning in a series of complicated calculations, which he compares to U.S. Census Bureau figures for non-citizen residents. Polls show non-citizens vote overwhelmingly Democratic.
“The details are technical, but the figure I calculated is based on a more conservative margin of sampling error and a methodology that I consider to be more accurate,” Mr. Agresti told The Washington Times.
He believes the Harvard/YouGov researchers based their “zero” claim on two flawed assumptions. First, they assumed that people who said they voted and identified a candidate did not vote unless their names showed up in a database.
“This is illogical, because such databases are unlikely to verify voters who use fraudulent identities, and millions of non-citizens use them,” Mr. Agresti said.
He cites government audits that show large numbers of noncitizens use false IDs and Social Security numbers in order to function in the U.S., which could include voting.
Second, Harvard assumed that respondent citizens sometimes misidentified themselves as non-citizens but also concluded that non-citizens never misidentified themselves as citizens, Mr. Agresti said.
“This is irrational, because illegal immigrants often claim they are citizens in order to conceal the fact that they are in the U.S. illegally,” he said.
Of course, even if Agresti’s figures have a margin of error of 90 percent, there are still hundreds of thousands of illegal votes for Democrats each election. In presidential elections that can we swung by just a few thousands in certain key states, that’s shocking no matter how you look at it.