As President Donald Trump announces he wants a “major investigation” into voter fraud, a Virginia elections official is casting doubt on his claims.
President Trump has claimed three to five million ballots were cast illegally, costing him the popular vote.
“This is about the integrity of our voting system,” White House press secretary Sean Spicer told reporters on Wednesday.
Spicer said he believes voter fraud is an issue that goes beyond the 2016 election.
“I don’t want to start throwing out numbers, but there’s a lot of people that are dead that are on rolls,” Spicer said. “There are people that are voting – that are on the rolls in two different states.”
But election officials in Virginia are concerned over the Trump Administration’s claims, according to Radford’s voter registrar.
“The registrars in Virginia – and I can say that I know all 133 of them – take it personally,” said Tracy Howard, who also serves as president of the Voter Registrars Association of Virginia.
While a few people were indicted this past year on voter registration fraud in Virginia, Howard said, voter fraud is extremely rare.
“It was due to the general registrar catching the bad information coming across, and that happens all throughout the commonwealth,” he said.
There are several bills in the Virginia General Assembly this year that would address fraudulent voter registration, Howard said.
He added that Virginia has several safeguards in place to prevent voter fraud, including the use of social security numbers, an interstate cross-check of registered voter rolls and the requirement of voters to show photo identification at their polling place.
All of the commonwealth’s voting equipment is not connected to the Internet, which prevents hacking, Howard said.
“Sure, we know that there are cases of voter fraud,” he said. “But just because the claim is grandiose doesn’t mean that the actual voter fraud that is going on is so widespread.”
President Trump said his investigation into voter fraud would include examining people registered to vote in two states, illegal immigrants and dead people on the voter rolls.
Howard said he welcomes that investigation, adding that he believes state election officials have nothing to hide.