What Donald Trump doesn’t know about voter fraud is a lot

Posted at 5:34 PM, Nov 14, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-15 08:07:08-05

On Wednesday, the Daily Caller, a conservative website, sat down with President Donald Trump for a “wide ranging” interview. (Is there any other kind?)

One of the questions the Caller’s reporters asked Trump focused on his unverified claims about voter fraud in Florida. Here’s how he responded:

“When people get in line that have absolutely no right to vote and they go around in circles. Sometimes they go to their car, put on a different hat, put on a different shirt, come in and vote again. Nobody takes anything. It’s really a disgrace what’s going on. If you buy a box of cereal — you have a voter ID. They try to shame everybody by calling them racist, or calling them something, anything they can think of, when you say you want voter ID. But voter ID is a very important thing.”

Uh, what?

This isn’t the first time — in the last week! — that the President of the United States has made fact-free claims about voter fraud in races around the country.

“The Florida Election should be called in favor of Rick Scott and Ron DeSantis in that large numbers of new ballots showed up out of nowhere, and many ballots are missing or forged,” Trump tweeted about the Florida Senate and governor’s election, without evidence.

“Just out — in Arizona, SIGNATURES DON’T MATCH,” Trump tweeted, without evidence. “Electoral corruption – Call for a new Election? We must protect our Democracy!”

This line from the Daily Caller interview may be the weirdest: “If you buy a box of cereal — you have a voter ID”?

What’s even more amazing is that this isn’t the first time the President has made the connection between buying food and having a voter ID.

“You know, if you go out and you want to buy groceries, you need a picture on a card, you need ID,” Trump said in a speech in Florida in August. “You go out and you want to buy anything, you need ID and you need your picture.”

That’s not true, as CNN’s Veronica Stracqualursi noted at the time. She wrote:

“Photo ID is required when purchasing alcohol or cigarettes, and occasionally when verifying purchases made with a credit card. In a small number of states, identification photos are included on food stamp cards for low-income families, and several chains, such as Costco, may require identification when applying for membership.”

The broader point here is that Trump’s claims of voter fraud are hugely spurious. Study after study has shown that there is simply zero evidence of widespread voter fraud. One, in which Loyola Law School professor Justin Levitt tracked US elections from 2000 to 2014 in search of voter fraud, or, as he put it, “specific, credible allegation that someone may have pretended to be someone else at the polls,” found a total of 31 out of more than 1 billion instances. 31!

The Point: Donald Trump can keep making false claims about alleged voter fraud. But simply repeating a documented falsehood doesn’t make it true.