- President Donald Trump tweeted misleading statistics Sunday morning in his latest claims about massive voter fraud in American elections, claiming that 58,000 non-citizens voted in Texas.
- Referencing the Fox News show “Fox & Friends,” Trump tweeted the numbers involved in a recent initiative by the Texas secretary of state to re-verify voters who had provided green cards or work visas that suggested they were not citizens when obtaining a driver’s license or ID.
- As reported by the Texas Tribune, the 95,000 voters identified in this move possibly became naturalized citizens and might not even be investigated by counties, which is in contrast to Trump’s strong claim.
President Donald Trump tweeted a misleading statistic Sunday in his latest claim about rampant voter fraud.
Apparently referencing statistics that had been discussed on the Fox News show “Fox & Friends,” Trump tweeted the numbers involved in a recent initiative by the Texas secretary of state to investigate the legal status of past voters based on documents provided to the office.
“58,000 non-citizens voted in Texas, with 95,000 non-citizens registered to vote,” Trump wrote. “These numbers are just the tip of the iceberg. All over the country, especially in California, voter fraud is rampant. Must be stopped. Strong voter ID!”
58,000 non-citizens voted in Texas, with 95,000 non-citizens registered to vote. These numbers are just the tip of the iceberg. All over the country, especially in California, voter fraud is rampant. Must be stopped. Strong voter ID! @foxandfriends
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 27, 2019
Trump’s tweet seemed to be referencing a Fox News segment on an investigation by the Texas secretary of state’s office examining the citizenship of 95,000 people who had previously identified themselves as legal, non-citizen American residents. The office said it had found 58,000 of those people had voted in elections from 1996 to 2018.
Fox News Contributor Katie Pavlich, while the screen displayed a graphic with the same number, said 95,000 non-US citizens were registered to vote in Texas, though officials specified while announcing the investigation that the current citizenship status of those individuals was unknown. Trump included the same claim in his tweet, not mentioning officials’ point that these were potential non-citizens.
The secretary of state’s office said in the investigation, local election officials would be verifying the legal status of 95,000 registered voters who had provided work visas or green cards as documents when they obtained a driver’s license or ID, which may suggest they were not citizens.
Of these, according to the Texas Tribune, the secretary of state’s office said about 58,000 individuals cast a ballot in one or more elections since 1996. Officials said the names identified are “WEAK” matches that counties may choose to pursue investigating or not.
If all found to be non-citizens, the 58,000 individuals who cast ballots would comprise around 0.38 of the 15.8 million registered voters in Texas.
The voters who provided these documents possibly became naturalized citizens since first obtaining identification and will not have their registration status automatically revoked without notice. It’s not clear how many, if any at all, were non-citizens when they voted.
As for Trump’s call for “strong voter ID,” the investigation is based on appropriate documents that were already provided by voters to officials.
The Tribune tweeted the day it published the report on these statistics to quell suggested connections to rampant voter fraud by undocumented immigrants.
1/ You might be seeing headlines or tweets tonight that claim Texas says 58,000 non-citizens have voted in Texas.
That is not true.
That is not what the state has said.
— Texas Tribune (@TexasTribune) January 26, 2019
Including Texas, there is no evidence of widespread voter fraud in the US.
Trump has a long history of touting unsubstantiated claims about voter fraud, including in remarks around November’s midterms where he said “Republicans don’t win” because of “potentially illegal votes,” some of which, he said, are executed when people change their clothes to vote a second time.
Trump has also demanded stronger voter ID laws, incorrectly saying that buying cereal requires shoppers to present identification in an example to illustrate his claim.
Despite his claims, Trump shut down a White House commission in January 2018 that formed to investigate voter fraud and found no evidence of fraud. The New York Times reported Trump cited legal reasons in announcing the responsibility would be transferred to the Department of Homeland Security.
The committee was formed after Trump repeatedly claimed widespread voter fraud contributed to Democratic challenger Hillary Clinton’s 2.9 million vote advantage in the 2016 election.
No state has found evidence of significant fraud and Republican lawmakers have sought to quell Trump’s unsubstantiated claims.