Donald Trump is citing unsubstantiated urban myths and a contested academic study to paint a false narrative about rampant voter fraud in the U.S. and the likelihood of a “rigged” election, reports USA Today. Trump claimed “people that have died 10 years ago are still voting,” citing a report that found 1.8 million deceased people remain on voter registration rolls. The report did not find evidence of wrongdoing, and numerous studies have found such voter fraud is virtually nonexistent. Trump claimed there is a massive problem with “illegal immigrants [who] are voting,” citing research by Old Dominion professors who say noncitizen voters may have benefited Democrats in 2008. A Harvard professor who manages the data used in the study said the data was misused and the study’s conclusions are wrong.
Trump broadly claimed that “voter fraud is very, very common,” and he has called for poll watchers to look for people impersonating voters or voting numerous times. Many academic studies and government inquiries have found in-person voter fraud to be rare. “The best facts we can gather to assess the magnitude of the alleged problem of voter fraud show that, although millions of people cast ballots every year, almost no one knowingly and willfully casts an illegal vote in the United States today,” Lorraine Minnite writes in a book, The Myth of Voter Fraud. Allegations of “busloads” of people going from polling place to polling place, as described by former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, is a common urban myth, Minnite said.