Over the weekend, President Donald Trump tweeted allegations that 58,000 non-U.S. citizens voted in Texas, while 95,000 had illegally registered to vote.
58,000 non-citizens voted in Texas, with 95,000 non-citizens registered to vote. These numbers are just the tip of the iceberg. All over the country, especially in California, voter fraud is rampant. Must be stopped. Strong voter ID! @foxandfriends
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 27, 2019
He later retweeted Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton who wrote a similar message.
VOTER FRAUD ALERT: The @TXsecofstate discovered approx 95,000 individuals identified by DPS as non-U.S. citizens have a matching voter registration record in TX, approx 58,000 of whom have voted in TX elections. Any illegal vote deprives Americans of their voice.
— Ken Paxton (@KenPaxtonTX) January 25, 2019
Todd Gillman, Washington bureau chief for The Dallas Morning News says the numbers are based on an analysis by the Texas Secretary of State’s office.
“They compared records from the DPS, and over the course of the past 20 years or so, this number of people in Texas who are on voter rolls don’t seem to be U.S. citizens,” Gillman says.
But Gillman says the raw numbers could be misleading.
“About 50,000 people a year are naturalized, and that means you can get a driver’s license and you can register to vote. But that doesn’t mean you necessarily registered to vote, or did it illegally. No one has done the next level of investigation to figure out if people who are non-citizens actually registered to vote, and voted.”
Gillman says a claim of large-scale voter fraud supports a long-standing Republican narrative about voting by non-citizens and about Democrats “stealing” elections.
“It definitely fuels the agenda of many Republicans to tighten voter access,” Gillman says.
Gillman says the conflict over border security and the government shutdown continued over the weekend, as the president’s critics on the right castigated him for giving in and reopening the government. But Gillman says Trump’s position, since allowing the government to reopen on Friday, has been “both hardening and hard to pin down.”
The conference committee charged with working out a border security agreement that would have bipartisan support includes one Texan, Laredo Democratic Rep. Henry Cuellar. He opposes the border wall but supports other border security initiatives.
“There’s definitely common ground to be found between the Republicans and the Democrats,” Gillman says. “Whether there’s that type of common ground between that kind of common-sense agenda and what the president is willing to do politically – because of the embarrassment that it would cause him if he doesn’t get money for the wall, per se – hard to say.”
Written by Shelly Brisbin.