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Trump: Anyone caught illegally voting will face ‘maximum criminal penalties’
Gage Skidmore / CCL
Nobody knows just how many fraudulent votes were cast nationwide leading up to Tuesday’s election and the Democratic takeover of the House of Representatives. The administration’s attempts to study the problem have been intentionally rebuffed by Democrats unwilling to cooperate with a federal investigation, and many states have no way of knowing if illegal aliens are casting votes in their districts.
Despite the Democratic obstructionism, President Donald Trump warned that anyone caught casting votes illegally in Tuesday’s midterm elections would be “subject to the maximum criminal penalties allowed by law.”
“Law Enforcement has been strongly notified to watch closely for any ILLEGAL VOTING which may take place in Tuesday’s Election (or Early Voting),” the president warned in a tweet posted on the eve of Election Day.
Law Enforcement has been strongly notified to watch closely for any ILLEGAL VOTING which may take place in Tuesday’s Election (or Early Voting). Anyone caught will be subject to the Maximum Criminal Penalties allowed by law. Thank you!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 5, 2018
Trump also addressed the issue earlier in the runup to the midterms, tweeting in October: “All levels of government and Law Enforcement are watching carefully for VOTER FRAUD, including during EARLY VOTING. Cheat at your own peril. Violators will be subject to maximum penalties, both civil and criminal!”
All levels of government and Law Enforcement are watching carefully for VOTER FRAUD, including during EARLY VOTING. Cheat at your own peril. Violators will be subject to maximum penalties, both civil and criminal!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 21, 2018
The issue of voter fraud first captured the president’s attention following the 2016 elections, when he insisted that he would have won the popular vote if “millions of people” had not voted illegally. Although he shared the results of a well-defended, peer-reviewed non-citizen voting study to back up his claims, the mainstream press continue to call Trump’s concerns “anti-patriotic,” “baseless” and “a sham” designed to “intimidate voters.”
The president established a commission to examine the extent of voter fraud, but rather than let the inquiry run its course, Democrats fought to obscure the facts from investigators and refused to cooperate.
“Despite substantial evidence of voter fraud, many states have refused to provide the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity with basic information relevant to its inquiry,” Trump said after the investigation was dissolved in January. “Rather than engage in endless legal battles at taxpayer expense, today I signed an executive order to dissolve the Commission, and have asked the Department of Homeland Security to review these issues and determine next courses of action.”
“Tons” of DACA voters
Even though Democrats were unwilling to take an honest look at voter fraud and its systemic impact on elections in their own districts, plenty of evidence exists. For example, the North Carolina State Board of Elections confirmed that “35,750 voters with the same first and last name and date of birth were registered in N.C. and another state, and voted in both states in the 2012 general election.”
Perhaps the best evidence that the president’s midterm warnings were justified came from an undercover Project Veritas report published on Election Day. In the video, a female reporter repeatedly solicits Travis County, Texas poll workers for advice on the legality of her “Dreamer” boyfriend’s vote.
The journalist suggests that her illegal immigrant boyfriend is too frightened to cast a vote, even though he is registered. Several poll workers dismiss her fears and insist that, as long as he is registered, the fictional non-citizen can vote.
When the reporter tells one polling official that her boyfriend is concerned that there might be “an issue with DACA people voting,” the volunteer responds, “No, you tell him no. We got a lot of ’em … We got tons of them” during early voting.
The honor system
The problem in Texas, as with many states, is that people are expected to vote on an honor system, with no documentation required and no one to audit the registrations for accuracy. Keith Ingram, head of the Texas Secretary of State’s Elections Division, admitted that the only way to determine if non-citizens aren’t voting is the random sampling of a jury duty summons.
In other words, unlawfully registered non-citizens will only be removed from voting rolls if they self-identify as illegal immigrants when recusing themselves from jury duty. And Texas has some of the more robust anti-voter fraud legislation in the country.
On his way to a rally in Cleveland, one of his final campaign stops before the midterm elections, Trump doubled down on his warning. “Just take a look,” he said. “All you have to do is go around, take a look at what’s happened over the years, and you’ll see. There are a lot of people — a lot of people — my opinion, and based on proof — that try and get in illegally and actually vote illegally. So we just want to let them know that there will be prosecutions at the highest level.”
The Justice Department has answered the president’s call for intense scrutiny during the midterms. Following standard procedure, Attorney General Jeff Sessions sent election observers to monitor for voter suppression, intimidation and discrimination in 35 jurisdictions across the country.
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