Connecticut’s Secretary of the State Denise Merrill said there’s no “shred of evidence” that millions of illegal votes were cast in the 2016 presidential contest.
That claim was made by President Donald Trump in two Tweets.
“I will be asking for a major investigation into VOTER FRAUD, including those registered to vote in two states, those who are illegal and …even, those registered to vote who are dead (and many for a long time). Depending on results, we will strengthen up voting procedures!”
It’s unclear how the federal investigation would be structured or if it would involve the F.B.I., which has the authority over voter fraud.
“Our democracy is the most transparent in the world. Our voter rolls are public information and elections officials are honorable public servants who carry out their tasks in an open and accessible manner,” Merrill said.
She said to claim otherwise “does nothing but undermine people’s confidence in democracy. Working to undercut the public’s faith in a free and fair vote is beyond irresponsible, it is frankly un-American.”
Democrat Hillary Clinton won the popular vote with 2.9 million more votes than Trump, but Trump won the Electoral College. He has blamed the loss of the popular vote on illegal voters.
In Connecticut, before the November Election, there were 97 cases of voter fraud since 1974.
“There’s never been a voter impersonation case,” Michael Brandi, executive director of the State Elections Enforcement Commission, said in November. “It’s the proverbial solution in search of a problem.”
He said Connecticut has had fraud cases involving voter intimidation, absentee ballot fraud, and people trying to fraudulently register voters, but no one is showing up at polling places pretending to be someone they aren’t.
“You have 1.8 million people who are dead, who are registered to vote, and some of them absolutely vote,” Trump said during a Fox News interview with Sean Hannity. He was citing a 2012 Pew Center for the States report.
David Becker, the author of that Pew report took to Twitter Tuesday to reiterate his findings. “As I’ve noted before, voting integrity better in this election than ever before. Zero evidence of fraud,” Becker tweeted.
Even before the election, Brandi said there’s no evidence in that report to back up with Trump is saying.
The report found “More than 1.8 million deceased individuals are listed as voters,” but there was never any evidence to indicate people are impersonating them and showing up at polling places. The purpose of the report was to show how the voter registration system has not kept pace with modern life and technology.
“The concept of in-person voter fraud—it doesn’t exist,” Brandi said.
He said the voter rolls need to be cleaned up to remove those who have died or moved out of the state, but no one is using the voter list to impersonate somebody else.
“There’s no evidence to support that,” Brandi added.
Merrill said she’s worried Trump is calling for the investigation in order to justify new voting restrictions.
“I fear that these lies are being stated in order to lay the groundwork for a draconian assault on voting rights. I sincerely hope I am proven wrong,” Merrill added.