Editor's Note: This column has been excerpted with permission from its original appearance on Just Facts Daily. The full post can be found here.
The issue of voter fraud was one of the most heated sources of controversy during the 2016 presidential election, and it continues to be so.
After Hillary Clinton’s campaign announced that it was supporting recounts in several states won by Donald Trump, Trump responded with a series of Twitter posts accusing Clinton of hypocrisy for refusing to accept the results of the election after she insisted that he “must.” He then tweeted, “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.”
Several major media outlets pounced on Trump’s comment. The New York Times, for example, reported that “virtually no evidence of such improprieties has been discovered.” The Times editorial board then called Trump’s statement “a lie,” and The Washington Post’s Fact Checker declared “this is a bogus claim with no documented proof.”
These media reports and Trump’s comment are all misleading. There is material evidence of substantial vote fraud, though it does not prove that Trump would have won the popular vote if such fraud were prevented. It only shows that this is a possibility.
This evidence is documented in a 2014 paper published by the journal Electoral Studies. Based on survey data and election records, the authors of this paper found that the number of non-citizens who voted illegally in the 2008 election ranged “from just over 38,000 at the very minimum to nearly 2.8 million at the maximum.” Their “best estimate” is that 1.2 million or “6.4% of non-citizens actually voted.”