Democrats are surging in the polls with midterm elections occurring tomorrow. In an attempt to stop the bleeding, Donald Trump has warned that the country will be cracking down on those who vote illegally.
While illegal voting is incredibly rare, it is a common talking point for Trump. He wrote on his Twitter account, “Law enforcement has been strongly notified to watch closely for any ILLEGAL VOTING which may take place in Tuesday’s election (or early voting). Anyone caught will be subject to the Maximum Criminal Penalties allowed by law. Thank you!”
Law Enforcement has been strongly notified to watch closely for any ILLEGAL VOTING which may take place in Tuesday’s Election (or Early Voting). Anyone caught will be subject to the Maximum Criminal Penalties allowed by law. Thank you!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 5, 2018
The Brennan Center for Justice recently conducted an in-depth study on voter fraud. The report “reviewed elections that had been meticulously studied for voter fraud, and found incident rates between 0.0003 percent and 0.0025 percent.”
Trump’s obsession with illegal voting is thought to come from his popular vote loss to Hillary Clinton in 2016. Trump said of the election, “In addition to winning the Electoral College in a landslide, I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally.”
Despite Trump’s unsubstantiated claims, he has gone as far as creating a commission aimed at proving them. The commission, headed by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach provided little to no proof of voter fraud in the United States and was shuttered after less than a year.
The tweet from Trump may also be aimed at creating an air of intimidation towards the process of voting. The midterms will feature many first time voters who may be unsure about the process. This type of rhetoric may keep them from the voting booth.
Trump was challenged in his claims by US Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Session said in a statement, “This year we are using every lawful tool that we have, both civil and criminal, to protect the rights of millions of Americans to cast their vote unimpeded at one of more than 170,000 precincts across America.”