Slap the cuffs on. I admit it. I did it. I’m registered to vote in two states.
According to President Donald J. Trump, that makes me part of a massive voter fraud that threatens our very democracy and, coincidentally, prevented him from claiming total victory against Hillary Clinton, who lost the Electoral College but beat him by 2.8 million votes. It’s why Trump on Wednesday exhorted his Advisory Commission on Election Integrity to, uphold “the integrity of the ballot box.”
To which I say, “Horse feathers.”
Trump believes droves of non-citizens and dead citizens cast votes last fall, alongside legitimate voters who he imagines pulled the lever against him more than once on Election Day. Hey, I only wish.
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Studies have shown that stuffing the ballot box is a statistical myth in modern American politics, yet Trump persists in claiming that as many as 5 million bogus ballots were tallied last November – all, presumably, in support of his opponent. But do the math. Five million fraudulent votes? That’s more than the populations of Alaska, Delaware, the District of Columbia, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont and Wyoming combined. Hillary couldn’t even protect her emails from the Russians. How could anyone possibly think she pulled off such an elaborate scheme, and in secret, no less?
Trump believes that droves of non-citizens and dead citizens cast votes last fall, alongside otherwise legitimate citizens like me who live in more than one state and pulled the lever against him more than once on Election Day. Hey, I only wish.
A 2012 Pew Center study found that some 2.75 million Americans, including me, were legally authorized to vote in more than one state. I reside mostly in California, but teach part of the year at a university in Colorado. Does that mean I hopped a jet on Election Day to cast two ballots? Of course not. I voted, lawfully, in the one state where I knew my lone vote would count most.
I’m betting Trump’s chief strategist, Steve Bannon, who is registered in Florida and New York, did as well. Ditto press secretary Sean Spicer, Trump’s daughter, Tiffany, son-in-law Jared Kushner, and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin. All are registered in two states.
To uphold the integrity of the ballot box, maybe the president should check their voting records.
David Freed is a pilot, novelist and former reporter for the Los Angeles Times. He can be contacted at David-Freed.com.