Posted: 01 Dec 2016 03:00 PM PST
Donald Trump says that illegal voting may have put Hillary Clinton ahead of him in the popular vote. Clinton leads Trump by around 2.5 million votes, so the president-elect’s claim seems far-fetched.
However, as Hans von Spakovsky and John Fund explain in the Wall Street Journal, we simply don’t know the extent of illegal voting in American elections. Moreover, the Obama administration has done everything it can to keep it that way.
For example, the Obama Justice Department has refused to file a single lawsuit to enforce the requirement of the National Voter Registration Act that states maintain the accuracy of their voter-registration lists. It has also opposed every effort by states—such as Kansas, Arizona, Alabama and Georgia—to verify the citizenship of those registering to vote.
In 2011, the Electoral Board in Fairfax County, Va., sent the Justice Department, under then-Attorney General Eric Holder, information about 278 noncitizens registered to vote in Fairfax County, about half of whom had cast ballots in previous elections. There is no record that the Justice Department did anything.
Here, via von Spakovsky and Fund, is some of what we do know:
It would be astonishing if illegal voting were not a problem. It’s widely accepted that election fraud used to exist. Our political history is full of examples such as Mayor Daley’s Chicago.
If voting fraud is no longer a problem, what caused it to disappear. Is less at stake now in elections? Of course not? Do safeguards prevent fraud? No. As von Spakovsky and Fund point out, the voter-registration process in almost all states runs on the honor system. Have the big-city machines that promoted fraud in the old days vanished? They have not.
Donald Trump’s victory provides an opportunity to attack the problem of illegal voting. Von Spakovsky and Fund explain how:
The honor system doesn’t work. To maintain the integrity of our elections, it’s time to adopt measures that do.