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Paul A Duginski
Paul A Duginski
Paul Duginski is a political cartoonist and veteran newspaper staff artist. He enjoys reading history, literature and going bodyboarding whenever he has time.
 

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Posted in Politics / Elections / National

The Voter Fraud Lie

Jul. 25, 2017 2:20 am
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Donald Trump won in the Electoral College and became president even though he got about 3 million fewer votes than Hillary Clinton. He still hasn’t accepted that.

Shortly after the inauguration, Trump claimed that 3 to 5 million “illegals” had voted — and they all voted for Hillary — causing him to fall short in the popular vote. He tweeted the need for a “major investigation into VOTER FRAUD” later that week.

In November, Trump had tweeted that he would have won the popular vote “if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally.” There is absolutely no evidence that anything of the sort took place.

Trump got that half-baked idea from Gregg Phillips, who has been involved with right-wing activist groups peddling myths about voter fraud, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. On Nov. 11, Phillips tweeted: “Completed analysis of database of 180 million voter registrations. Number of non-citizen votes exceeds 3 million. Consulting legal team.”

These “findings” were picked up by InfoWars, the crackpot website of Alex Jones, the kooky right-wing nut job and conspiracy theorist who counts Trump as a reader.

This is the same Donald Trump who is a prominent consumer of malicious lies and tall tales, especially if they serve his self-interest. Remember Trump’s “birther” lies?

This is the background for the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, a group Trump created by executive order on May 11.

Genuine voter fraud is a minuscule problem to the point of being virtually nonexistent. But it’s something that gullible nativists will latch onto and not let go of. Furthermore, it’s a handy tool for Republicans keen to find a pretext for more of the voter suppression tactics they’ve been using to keep younger voters and people of color away from the polls. The Republicans know that, with changing demographics in America, fewer and fewer voters are likely to choose the GOP agenda, which skews more toward the rich and those who don’t want to let go of white male privilege. The Republicans recognize that if voters are increasingly unlikely, given a level playing field, to pick you, then you have to find a way to pick your voters. If mostly people who like Republicans are allowed to vote, then you’re more likely to win.

In the old days, this sort of thing was accomplished with Jim Crow voting laws, using devices such as poll taxes and literacy tests. Now they’ve graduated to such things as limiting voting hours and requiring voter I.D. cards that are expensive or inconvenient to obtain.

In other words, it’s all very un-American. But they would have you believe it’s actually because they care so much about their country.

If they were sincere about the integrity of the election system, they wouldn’t be wasting time and resources on imaginary voter fraud and instead would be much more alarmed about collusion and meddling in our elections by adversaries such as the Russians.

 
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