NYDLC denounces the persistent, bizarre, and wholly baseless claims by President Trump that question the legitimacy of his own election. Read the full press release here.
For Immediate Release, January 27, 2017
Contact: (866) NYDLC-01; [email protected]
The New York Democratic Lawyers Council (NYDLC) denounces the persistent, bizarre, and wholly baseless claims by President Trump that question the legitimacy of his own election, and by extension undermines public confidence in our democratic processes.
The claim that "millions" (or any statistically significant amount) of ineligible voters committed felonies during the 2016 election, and further--that this occurred in a coordinated effort in order to assist Trump's opponent--has been consistently debunked by experts in the voting rights field and denounced by both Democratic and Republican elected officials, including state officials who operate voting systems.
Thousands of NYDLC’s attorneys and others trained in election law and administration monitored the 2016 elections, as did participants in other organizations, both partisan and non-partisan, across America. By recording, aggregating, and tracking incidents reported via hotlines, social media, and digital tools, election monitors are able to identify systemic voting issues or trends in real time. Among the many problems with our election administration system, these groups have never found that voter fraud occurs on any discernable scale. To the contrary, repeated studies have found that voter fraud in America is exceptionally rare and almost always the result of isolated or inadvertent mistakes--not a systematic scheme to affect our elections.
The Brennan Center for Justice has issued a fact sheet aggregating several of these studies and debunking the voter fraud myth. The Brennan Center finds that "putting rhetoric aside to look at the facts makes clear that fraud by voters at the polls is vanishingly rare."
NYDLC Executive Director Jarret Berg said: "These unfounded claims simultaneously erode trust in the legitimacy of American democracy and further enflame racial animus and division among our citizens. These tactics may sound strange to American ears, but to those who have watched strongmen in emerging democracies struggle with peaceful elections and transitions of power, the tone and substance of President Trump's comments sound eerily familiar. The real threats to American democracy arise from laws and processes that make it harder for Americans to participate in our elections, partisan or racial gerrymandering, and other abuses of power that run counter to the public interest. The focus should be on solving these very real problems, not inventing new ones for obvious partisan gain."
The National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS), representing 40 of the nation's Chief State Election Officials (the majority of whom hail from President Trump's own Republican party) issued a statement distancing themselves from the President's baseless theory: "We are not aware of any evidence that supports the voter fraud claims made by President Trump, but we are open to learning more about the Administration’s concerns. In the lead up to the November 2016 election, secretaries of state expressed their confidence in the systemic integrity of our election process as a bipartisan group, and they stand behind that statement today.”
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) reiterated that he's seen "no evidence" to back up the claims made by the President.
Republican Senator Lindsay Graham (R-SC) said: "To continue to suggest that the 2016 election was conducted in a fashion that millions of people voted illegally undermines faith in our democracy." Senator Graham is demanding that the president "share with us the information you have about this or please stop saying it,”
The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights issued a statement cautioning that "invented claims like these are usually used to undermine the advancement and enforcement of voting rights laws." Wade Henderson, President of the Leadership Conference said: "the White House is bashing immigrants, undermining voting rights, and playing to bigotry all at once." "Peddling these lies just drives this administration farther from reality and from the people it claims to govern."
Dale Ho, director of the Voting Rights Project at the ACLU said: "If you look throughout history, these allegations of fraud have always been deployed as a justification for restricting access to the ballot."
Founded in 2005, the New York Democratic Lawyers Council (NYDLC) is a coalition of lawyers and voting rights advocates dedicated to fostering universal participation and trust in the electoral process by ensuring that all eligible persons can register to vote easily; All registered voters are able to vote conveniently, fairly, without intimidation; and, that all votes are counted accurately by open and reliable voting systems.
NYDLC's election monitoring, pro-voter advocacy, and community voter education/civic engagement efforts have been independently funded by a dedicated network of supporters who cherish the franchise and understand that the struggle for voting rights continues even today and that these core civil rights are always are at risk of political manipulation. Help us continue our work: Contribute to NYDLC today.
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