With more than 1,000 people watching the vote on Election Day, a watchdog group said it found no evidence that millions of people voted illegally despite President-elect Donald Trump’s tweets.
“Donald Trump [said] over the weekend that several million people voted illegally,” ProPublica deputy managing editor Scott Klein said. “We have data that shows it’s simply not true. If anything happened at the scale that he’s implying, we would’ve seen it. We were there. We had a real-time look at the nation and how things were going.”
Electionland, a project run by organizations including ProPublica, Google News Lab, Univision, WNYC, the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism and the USA Today Network, had access to calls made to a nonpartisan legal hotline, worked with four top voting experts, had a team of about 600 journalism school students poring over social media, and 400 local journalists who signed up to receive tips about what Electionland found, ProPublica reported.
ProPublica, a nonprofit investigative outlet, compiled state-by-state background resources such as the number of voters in each county and previous problems reported in the areas, the NiemanLab reported.
In addition to winning the Electoral College in a landslide, I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 27, 2016
ProPublica debunked studies mentioned to reporters on Monday by Trump transition spokesman Jason Miller that, he said, spoke to “issues of both voter fraud and illegal immigrants voting.”
One study from 2014 had an error in self-reporting, which found the question asking about citizenship to be confusing, leading to false answers.
The second study was a Pew Research study from 2012 that the Trump team incorrectly linked to voter fraud. ProPublica said the study found that voter rolls were out of date due to thousands of people moving or dying, but this did not lead to voter fraud.
Trump also tweeted reports of voter fraud in New Hampshire, Virginia, and California.
Serious voter fraud in Virginia, New Hampshire and California – so why isn’t the media reporting on this? Serious bias – big problem!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 28, 2016
There were many problems reported on Election Day, such as long lines and broken machines, but nothing that points to widespread election fraud, ProPublica said.
When Jill Stein began raising awareness for her recount petitions, she cited an article that said researchers had found evidence of results being hacked or manipulated in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania.
One of the researchers, J. Alex Halderman, disagreed with the reporting of the research, saying that systems were only vulnerable. In a Medium post, he pointed to the hacks on the Democratic National Committee and voter registration systems in Illinois and Arizona.
“This software is years old. The voting machines are not new. Someone would have had to — years ago — decide they were going to hack this election, without knowing who the candidates are,” said Tammy Patrick, one of the Electionland experts and a fellow at the Bipartisan Policy Center.