President Trump on Saturday tweeted a warning to people engaged in voter fraud, stating that those found guilty would be subject to “both civil and criminal” penalties.
“All levels of government and Law Enforcement are watching carefully for VOTER FRAUD, including during EARLY VOTING,” Trump tweeted. “Cheat at your own peril. Violators will be subject to maximum penalties, both civil and criminal!”
All levels of government and Law Enforcement are watching carefully for VOTER FRAUD, including during EARLY VOTING. Cheat at your own peril. Violators will be subject to maximum penalties, both civil and criminal!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 21, 2018
President Trump’s belief that thousands if not millions engaged in voter fraud during the 2016 election led to the founding of a commission to investigate the issue, but it was dissolved in January amidst difficulties obtaining cooperation from several states, each of which has different rules government elections.
The difference between the two parties on ballot integrity issues generally comes down to Democrats being concerned that Republican efforts to make sure only those qualified to vote actually vote could lead to voter suppression. As a result, Democrats typically downplay Republican claims, including Trump’s, that people engage in voter fraud.
“Democrats will not push for photo ID requirements to vote because they benefit most from voter fraud,” said Matt C. Pinsker, adjunct professor of criminal justice at Virginia Commonwealth University. “Despite Democrat claims that it is practically non-existent, the reality is that in every election there have been numerous irregularities reported, the overwhelming majority of which favor Democrats. Despite there being numerous incidents every election cycle, Democrats are correct that prosecutions for voter fraud are rare. In large part, this only is because Democrats have purposefully setup a system which deliberately turns a blind eye and prevents any form of detection or screening.” (RELATED: Voter Fraud: A Fact Democrats Wish Was Fiction)