Well, now he’s done it!
First spokesperson Sean Spicer brought up a comment in a White House presser about a concern over voter fraud and the press corps jumped on it. At one point, Spicer revealed that President Trump felt it could have been 3 million illegal votes cast in the last Presidential election. Then it turned into 5 million. All of a sudden, the press pushed him to provide evidence and asked if the President was going to launch an investigation. He stammered and shuffled his feet and said something to the effect that there were more pressing issues for the President to face in his first days in office.
An incredulous press pushed, stating that if there were millions of illegal votes cast, it would be one of the biggest stories in the nation’s history. Though the mainstream media is never short on hyperbole, they did have a point and Sean Spicer could only reiterate that President Trump was focused on other things.
Well…we didn’t even go 24 hours before a tweet was issued from President Donald Trump. He tweeted out that he would 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. (I put that last in italics for my own emphasis and to draw your attention to it. Keep those words in the back of your mind for a moment.)
Enter the next news cycle with talking heads and news media outlets jumping into the discussion, almost all in a negative way. Local news outlets in my state of Georgia ran it as a lead story, having interviewed the Secretary of State and others who assured citizens that incidents of any allegations of voter fraud are so minuscule, they barely warrant a mention. We were assured that the handful of incidents reported were all taken seriously and found to be, with the exception of 5 or 6 cases, non-existent.
It’s all much ado about nothing! So why would Trump be saying something so stupid?
Because Donald Trump does not seem to do anything on a whim — or if he does, he has an amazing, unconscious ability to pick the word, phrase or action that contains far more depth and meaning than what appears on the surface. Listening to each news cycle tout that the state of Georgia has almost no voter fraud made me realize, this was President Trump’s point. Why? Because the state of Georgia has one of the toughest voter photo ID laws in the country. It has been challenged and every time, those arguments are shot down by the supreme court.
But, Georgia is one of only 16 states that require a photo ID to cast a ballot. An additional 15 states accept non-photo ID, but there is a lot of discussion over how valid that option really is in preventing fraud. 38% of states, or the remaining 19, require no ID whatsoever, including the huge population (and electoral) centers of California, New York, Illinois and Pennsylvania — all of them democrat since Ronald Regan until Trump won Pennsylvania in 2016. And the 19 states (plus D.C.) that do not require any form of voter identification at all accounts for 228 electoral votes. That puts you just 42 electoral votes shy of what is needed to win the presidency.
There are only 8 states with strict photo ID laws, followed by 8 states with non-strict photo ID laws to create the 16 states who look for a picture ID. There are 3 states that are considered to have strict non-photo voter ID laws. The remaining 12 states have non-strict, non-photo ID laws.
The message is clear. Whether or not there is wide-spread (in the millions) of illegal votes being cast in the country is secondary to the agenda I believe Donald Trump is trying to pursue — strict photo ID laws in all 50 states. All it will take is for a statistically significant number of irregularities to present themselves, especially in the no ID required states as compared to the strict photo ID states, and that’s all it will take to tip the balance.
So, keep running the headlines in Georgia, Tennessee, Missouri, Virginia, Kansas, Wisconsin, Indiana and Vermont about how insignificant the instance of voter fraud is. Thanks to Jill Stein’s attempts at forcing a recount, we already know there were some serious irregularities in many of the voting precincts in Wayne County, Michigan. Before the recount was halted, 37% of those precincts tabulated more ballots than the number of voters tallied by workers in the poll books. Who knows what the final numbers would have been if the recount had been allowed to continue? And Michigan is one of the non-strict photo ID law states. Imagine what may lurk in the 19 states with absolutely no voter ID requirements whatsoever?
Will we find 3-5 million illegal votes? Who knows? But, if there is enough of a discrepancy in those states with weak to no voter ID laws, well, as President Trump tweeted, there will be a push to strengthen up voting procedures.
He may have the mainstream media fixed on the wild allegation thrown out by both Sean Spicer and him, but there is something bigger at play than a number. Maybe we should all be paying a little more attention to what he continues to reveal in his tweets. He seems to be keeping his word on a lot of what he’s been saying over the last 18 months.