Nearly half of Americans say that voter fraud occurs at least somewhat often according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll, a viewpoint at odds with studies showing it rarely occurs in U.S. elections.
The poll also finds 63 percent of voters are confident that votes in this year’s presidential election will be counted accurately, down from about 7 in 10 in 2004.
Republicans and Donald Trump supporters express the greatest concern about voter fraud and election accuracy -- worries which the GOP nominee has stoked on the campaign trail. The dynamic marks a reversal from 2004, when Democrats were more doubtful about the legitimacy of the vote.
The Post-ABC poll finds 46 percent of registered voters say voter fraud -- described as multiple votes being cast by a single person, or an ineligible person casting a ballot -- occurs very or somewhat often, while 50 percent say it occurs occasionally or rarely.
Over two-thirds of Trump voters say voter fraud occurs often, compared with less than one-third of Clinton supporters. Whatever the partisan differences, at least one-fifth of every major demographic and political group says voter fraud occurs somewhat or very often.
The prevalence of voter fraud appears to be widely overestimated. A 2012 investigation by the News21 investigative reporting project published in The Washington Post found only 2,068 cases of alleged voter fraud had been reported since 2000, including only 10 cases of voter impersonation over the entire period. A separate study by Loyola Law School professor Justen Levitt found 241 potentially fraudulent ballots over a 14-year period out of 1 billion ballots cast.
The Post-ABC poll also finds a sizable gap in skepticism of vote counting accuracy between Clinton and Trump supporters. Just under half of Trump supporters (49 percent) say they are “not too” or “not at all” confident” will be counted accurately, while just 18 percent of Clinton supporters are similarly skeptical.
So again, what happens when Trump loses in November? These folks aren't just going to shrug and go "oh well" and behave, as the last eight years can attest to the mass delegitimization of the federal government.
That's a problem across the board.