President Donald Trump has been complaining about voter fraud for several years, often making claims that it exists in places where data shows a different story. In a recent tweet, Trump made another claim about voter fraud, this time alleging that thousands of people without citizenship voted in Texas. Donald Trump's claim about non-citizens voting in Texas is seemingly misleading, and it doesn't appear to tell the entire story.
Early on Sunday, Jan. 27, Trump alleged that 58,000 non-citizens voted in Texas. On Twitter, he wrote:
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
Elite Daily reached out to the White House for further comment on and clarification of the president's tweet, but did not hear back at the time of publication.
Apparently, the specific statistic used by the president came from a Fox & Friends segment that aired on the same morning of Trump's tweet, and it appears the statistics shared during the program came from a Jan. 25 report from the Texas secretary of state's office, which reported that 95,000 registered voters in Texas were found to have ben identified as non-citizens to law enforcement at some point in time, and furthermore about 58,000 people from that group had voted at least once since 1996, per The New York Times. The Texas secretary of state's office did not reply to Elite Daily's request for further comment on the report. During the Fox News segment, one of the morning anchors said, "The left says it never happens but Texas officials discovered tens of thousands of non-citizens have actually voted in one or more elections in Texas." The morning news show went on to show a graphic called "Texas Voter Rolls for Non-U.S. Citizens," which seems to have informed Trump's tweet about voter fraud.
Many people and organizations responded to Trump's data, saying that the information was misleading or false. Alexa Ura, a Demographics reporter for the Texas Tribune responded with a tweet that said, "This is not true." The Texas Tribune Twitter account responded to Trump's claim with a nine-part thread on Jan. 27, starting with, "This is not true. We do not know yet if 58,000 non-citizens voted in Texas. The secretary of state's office in Texas has not made this claim."
The thread went on to explain the reason the claim was misleading. On Friday, Jan. 25 the secretary of state's office in Texas flagged 95,000 registered voters. These were people the state believed needed to have their citizenship statuses checked because they showed documentation that they were not citizens during the time they were obtaining driver's licenses or state identification. Of the 95,000 people counties are asked to inspect, 58,000 people have voted in one or more election since 1996. The state does not have confirmation whether those 58,000 are citizens or not, but the individuals could have become naturalized since providing documentation that they were not citizens. The Texas Tribune Twitter thread also noted, "In its notice to counties, the secretary of state's office said the names should be considered 'WEAK' matches, using all capital letters for emphasis."
Because there's no confirmation on the current citizenship status of the 58,000 people who have voted once or more since 1996 and because there's no confirmation on the current citizenship status of the remaining 37,000 who did not vote, both of Trump's statements that "58,000 non-citizens voted in Texas" and "95,000 non-citizens" were registered to vote appear to be misleading. The White House did not reply to Elite Daily's request for comment on the pushback to the president's claims in his Jan. 27 tweet.
According to NBC News, the head of the Texas Association of Elections Administrators, Chris Davis, shared with the Texas Tribune that "additional verification" is required to definitely say whether "all of the individuals engaged in voter fraud." Speaking to the claim that 58,000 non-citizens voted illegally, Davis told NBC, "People get naturalized," he said. "It's entirely too early to say that."
Seeing as thought President Trump is a prolific tweeter, I'd keep an eye out for his response to the criticism of his claims.