(NationalSentinel) Before the Nov. 8 election, then-GOP nominee Donald Trump openly questioned whether the outcome of his race against Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton would be “legitimate” because he insisted there is so much voter fraud taking place.
After he won handily in an electoral watershed of sorts, heÂ continued to question the overall outcome, which saw Clinton win the popular vote (though it was all due to a wide victory margin in one state, California).
In a pre-Super Bowl interview withÂ Fox News‘ Bill O’Reilly, Trump was asked about his belief that there may have been 3 - 5 million illegal votes cast in the election, and said he would be appointing a special investigative panel headed by Vice President Mike Pence to look into the matter.
State and local election officials are welcoming the probe, many of whom have seen close elections decided by single votes. That includes Colorado Secretary of StateÂ Wayne Williams, a former county clerk in his state who is in Washington, D.C., for the annual National Association of Secretaries of States, a meeting which includes a panel on election integrity.
â€œAs clerk, I saw two school board races decided by a single vote,â€ Williams told The Daily Signal. â€œI oversaw a municipal tax question that failed on a tie vote. So, yes, a single vote can make a difference. If someone is saying, well, it doesnâ€™t happen a lot so it doesnâ€™t matter, theyâ€™re just wrong, because it can make a difference. Even a single instance of an illegal vote causes an undermining in the confidence and diminishes turnout.â€
To bolster its case that an investigation intoÂ the extent of voter fraud - which Democrats oppose becauseÂ they say it’s not a problem - the Trump administration cited studies from Old Dominion University and the Pew Research Center, the latter of which found that millions of people aroundÂ on voter registration rolls are living in a different state, are listed at the wrong address or are dead.
â€œI welcome a process thatâ€™s designed to look at how we make the system better,â€ Williams said. â€œThatâ€™s true as a clerk, as secretary. I believe we ought to have that dialogue and explore ways we can clean up the process.â€
Miles Rapoport, a senior fellow at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, told the secretaries they had better be prepared to answer questions from the Trump administration, because the president is serious about the probe.
Like our reporting? Sign up for our daily email newsletter and never miss a story! Click here
Connecticut Secretary of State Denise Merrill, chairwoman of the National Association of Secretaries of State, toldÂ The Daily Signal she believes the administration’s probe will primarily focus on voter registration lists - and indeed, Trump has often mentioned that it’s those lists that need to be cleaned up.
In January, White House spokesman Sean Spicer said the probe was necessaryÂ to “ensure that we know that every person’s vote counts equally as the next to citizens is probably one of the greatest things we can do.”
Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas has said voter fraud is real and that it is a problem that must be addressed. He also noted that former President Barack Obama ordered U.S. attorneys to prosecute voter fraud in Texas during his tenure.
AnÂ undercover videoÂ released in October by the citizen-journalist group Project Veritas shows a Democratic election commissioner in New York City saying, â€œI think there is a lot of voter fraud.â€
As Fox News reported,Â aÂ 2013 sting operation by official New York City investigators found they could vote in someone elseâ€™s name 97 percent of the time without detection.
A second Oâ€™Keefe video showed two Democratic operatives mulling how it would be possible to get away withÂ voter fraud. Both of them were fired.