At a Monday campaign rally in Green Bay, Wisconsin, the Republican nominee made the unfounded yet oddly specific prediction that “1.8 million deceased individuals” will vote for “somebody else” in the presidential election.
The statistic, which apparently came from a 2012 Pew study, found that up to 1.8 million active voter registrations came from deceased voters. Yet the study found no evidence of fraud or illegitimate ballots actually being cast, instead concluding that state voter databases were outdated.
Trump’s preemptive cries of a “rigged” election and rampant “voter fraud” are growing louder as Election Day approaches, though numerous studies, surveys and fact-checking organizations have found hardly any evidence of voter fraud. Instead, the evidence he points to reflects a poorly managed, inefficient record-keeping system that keeps inaccurate, outdated or invalid voter registrations on the books. Contrary to Trump’s charge of an elaborate conspiracy of willful fraud, Politifact reported that clerical errors or confusion are most often to blame.
Politifact, which rated Trump’s prediction of “large scale voter fraud” a “pants-on-fire” lie, noted that one well-known case of a dead person voting occurred because a poll worker misspelled his name by one letter (Alan J. Mandell vs. Alan J. Mandel).
Still, the real estate mogul thinks that not only dead people but thousands of illegal immigrants will turn the election results against him. Trump suggested that Democrats and the Hillary Clinton campaign are helping to coordinate this intentional and widespread effort.
“They even want to try to rig the election at the polling booths and believe me there’s a lot going on,” Trump said in Green Bay. “Do you ever hear these people? They say ‘there’s nothing going on.’ People that have died 10 years ago are still voting, illegal immigrants are voting—I mean, where are the street smarts of some of these politicians?”
“We have voters all over the country where they are not even citizens of the country and they are voting,” he claimed.
Trump has before accused undocumented immigrants of voting, claiming the federal government is allowing them to pour over the southern border to do so, yet Politifact notes that the studies he uses to back up these serious claims relied on faulty data. One 2014 study he cited that claims 6.4 percent of non-citizens voted in 2008 was criticized by election experts for pooling unreliable data from Internet respondents.
This hasn’t stopped him from pushing this message on Twitter and on rally stages.
In Wisconsin Monday night, Trump even asserted that President Barack Obama only won North Carolina in 2008 because of support from undocumented immigrants.
“It is possible that non-citizen votes were responsible for Obama’s 2008 victory in North Carolina,” he said. “Obama won this state by 14,000 votes … we are going to win in North Carolina, but we don’t want non-citizen voters, if that’s ok? Is that alright to ask for? It could have provided his margin of victory.”