Where’s the logic of claiming massive voter fraud?

By | August 6, 2018 7:48 am

Democratic Dialog – By Debra Wines

Last week, at another campaign rally, Donald Trump again complained about voter fraud and the need to prevent non-Americans from voting. He called for every state to have stricter voter ID laws. As of the end of June of this year, 34 states either have or are beginning to enforce voter identification requirements. Tennessee is one of the states that has strict voter identification requirements that require a voter to have an approved photo ID.

Shortly after taking office, Donald Trump stated several times that he could not believe he won the election, but he could not understand how Hillary Clinton received approximately 3 million more votes than he did. It really bothered him, even as he bragged about winning the election based on the number of votes he received from the Electoral College. He brought up this subject time and time again. It was almost as if he really couldn’t believe he won the election or that he was very disturbed that he didn’t win the popular vote AND the Electoral College. The more he questioned how it was possible that he lost the popular vote, the more he talked about voter fraud and the possibility that 3 million illegal immigrants had the opportunity to cast a vote in the 2016 election for Hillary Clinton. He seemed almost obsessed by that possibility, and he was determined to prove it true.

On May 11, 2017, the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity (PEIC or PACEI) was announced. It was made up of 13 bipartisan members. Mike Pence was the chair and Kris Kobach, the Republican Secretary of State of Kansas, was the co-chair. On June 28, 2017, Mr. Kobach and the Department of Justice sent out a letter to all the top election officials in every state. They requested very specific and personal information of each registered voter from every state, and that information would be used to search for evidence of voter fraud. Along with basic information of the names, addresses, and party affiliation, Mr. Kobach was requesting birth dates, felony conviction records, voting histories for the past decade and the last four digits of the Social Security number for all voters. Let’s just say, that request did not go over well with both Republicans and Democrats. Mr. Kobach’s request for the information to be sent to a website without basic encryption technology and was deemed to be insecure also gave people another reason to be concerned.

The controversary associated with the PEICI’s request and potential for abusive use of the information was met with lawsuits and questions of ethical use of the information. The basic lack of trust of the commission’s integrity brought about the dismantling of the PEICI, on Jan. 3, 2018, by Donald Trump. Mr. Trump may have disbanded the commission, but he asked the Department of Homeland Security to take charge of the investigation since they already had much of the voter data that had been obtained and they oversee immigration records. Kris Kobach stated in an interview, “DHS knows the identity of everyone who has green cards and temporary visas, and that to compare those names to state voter rolls would be immensely valuable.” He also stated, “This is a tactical shift by the president who remains very committed to find the scope of voter fraud”.

On Jan. 9, 2018, the White House director of information technology stated the information collected by the commission would not be sent to the DHS or any other agency except the National Archives and Records Administration, according to federal law and the outcome of several lawsuits regarding the access and use of the voter information already received.

The issue of rampant voter fraud has been addressed by a number of researchers from the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law; Columbia University; Arizona State University; and the Republican National Lawyers Association, along with several courts across the nation since 2002-2016. The results of these investigations and research have found the incidents of voter fraud are between 0.0003 percent and 0.0025 percent. This rate of fraud is even smaller than the possibility of being struck by lightning, according to the Brennan Center for Justice’s report.

So why does Donald Trump continue to question the legitimacy of his own election? It seems to me that he uses the topic of massive voter fraud for several reasons, and most of them appear to be to distract the public from any negativity surrounding his administration and especially the so-called “witch hunt” being conducted by Robert Mueller. Honestly, I can’t really blame him. If I was in Mr. Trump’s position and afraid of what might be found, I’d be doing some fancy tap dancing, too.   Of course, that is not how Donald Trump operates. He needs constant reassurance from his supporters that he is THEIR legitimate president, and, in order to get that instant gratification, he must hold campaign rallies so he can feel their love, respect, and devotion.

Nothing seems to excite and perhaps validate his feelings more than hearing his crowd of supporters chanting whatever he tells them to chant. Whether it is “lock her up;” “fake news;” “build the wall;” or “stop the witch hunt,” it doesn’t matter. All that matters are the people at these rallies show their love to him. I find it rather interesting that when he holds some of these rallies to support a specific candidate, the candidate may get a couple of minutes of support from Donald Trump, but the rest of the rally is all about him, and his supporters don’t care. I have noticed, too, that it doesn’t really matter what he says, even if it doesn’t make any sense His supporters will still eat his thoroughly tossed word salad and claim he is the brightest of the bright and the best president this country has ever had.

I do have to give the man some kudos. Donald Trump has a certain charisma that I find interesting and mystifying at the same time. I’m sure a great many people will agree with me that his personality/persona was developed many years ago in order for him to come so far and to have been elected as the president of the United States of America. Donald Trump loves to refer to himself as a self-made man. I don’t think he is really talking about being financially self-made. I believe he probably experimented over the years to find just the right “character” that would give him the maximum amount of attention and adoration he has always desired. Perhaps this is why he refers to himself in the third person so often. Mr. Trump is a fascinating subject for any student of psychology.

The idea that he has been so good at implanting in his followers’ minds is that voter fraud is caused by illegal aliens. It gives his supporters more reason to believe illegal aliens are taking over our country. His biggest target, right now, is Latinos. According to him, they are swarming and overrunning our southern border in an attempt to push white Americans aside and overtake all of our institutions and destroy our way of life. Facts do not matter; we’ve learned that the hard way when Kellyanne Conway first used the term “alternative facts.” Donald Trump continues his form of indoctrination of his supporters by convincing them that any fact revealed by news sources other than Fox News is fake, and the most dangerous term he is now using is declaring those same news sources as “enemies of the people.” That is a term most dictators and tyrannical leaders use to suppress the truths they do not want the public to know. The press, scientists, researchers, and members of our own intelligence communities have also quickly become the “enemy” in Trump’s world and therefore they are also the enemies of his supporters.

One should wonder why Donald Trump wants the American people to believe that anyone who asks him legitimate questions, challenges any statements, policies, or decisions he makes is always given the title of being “fake” or an “enemy?” No matter what numerous studies and investigations have shown, time and time again, there is no massive voter fraud going on in our elections. Trump will keep pushing the idea and causing havoc right up until the November election, and, if things don’t turn out the way he wants, he will pick up the mantel again and carry it until the 2020 election. The very idea of that should make every American get out and vote for candidates who will be willing to put some roadblocks on Donald Trump’s version of “Highway to Hell.”

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