Donald Trump Is Helping Republicans Construct It Harder To Vote

President Donald Trumps false assert that millions of people voted illegally in the 2016 presidential election is easy to disprove, but his call to investigate voter fraud is likely to empower Republicans across the country to pass restrictive photo ID bills and other voter suppression statutes.

Trump has claimed, without evidence, that between 3 and 5 million people voted illegally in the 2016 election and is calling for an investigation. His fear-mongering arrives as Republicans push for statutes that largely stimulate voting more difficult for low-income people and minorities. Last year, federal courts struck down voter ID statutes in North Carolina, Texas and Wisconsin.

Allegations of widespread voter fraud coming from the president of the United States give credibility to a claim thats simply untrue. And top Senate Republicans havebegun bolstering Trumps liesby refusing to call him out.

A lot of days, when nation politicians are stimulating it harder to vote, like[ by passing] strict voter ID statutes, theyll often say, Oh, you know, my constituents want it. And a lot of days, that public concern actually comes from statements like these, told Jennifer Clark, counsel in the republic program at the Brennan Center for Justice.

Unfounded statements that really arent traced to any facts, but that people hear, and they hear again and again … creep into the public consciousness. So its definitely, I guess, a huge cause for concern, Clark added.

When the president lies and lies about the voting actions of millions of Americans he immediately threatens democracy. Allegra Chapman, Common Cause

Trump has already demonstrated an ability to bring fringe theories into the mainstream. He launched his political career on the lie that President Barack Obama was not born in the United States and stoked theories during the presidential campaign that his Democratic foe, Hillary Clinton, was concealing an illness.

Conspiracy theories about voter fraud have long been floating around, but backing from the president of the United States has elevated them to an entirely new level, told Allegra Chapman, director of voting and elections and senior counsel at Common Cause.

You bet Im concerned, Chapman wrote in an email. When the president lies and lies about the voting actions of millions of Americans he immediately threatens republic. Weve heard this nonsense from some, but from the president? Its outlandish and worrisome.

We hope state legislators have better sense than to pick up on these lies and introduce suppressive measures, she continued. If nothing else, they should be deterred from doing so based on what the courts are starting to say. Strict photo ID statutes are discriminatory, keep people of color from the voting kiosk, and are a proposed solution without a remedy. Any parliament following up on Pres. Trumps statements with strict photo ID statutes should be prepared for a lose battle.

Some Democrat on Capitol Hill have already said they will fight to block any effort to impose restrictive voting laws.

In the early 2000 s, the Department of Justice spent five years analyse claims of voter fraud and find scarcely any instances of it.The investigation discovered that 120 people had been charged with voter fraud and simply 86 had been convicted between 2002 and 2007. Even though it turned up miniscule evidence of voter fraud, Clark said the probe stoked public concern and led states to begin passing restrictive voter ID laws.

A New York Times surveyof all 50 states found that almost no incidentsof voter fraud occurred in the 2016 election. A Washington Post analysis detect simply 31 believable incidents of voter impersonation from 2000 to 2014 and several courts have found it to be a virtually nonexistent problem.

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