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Trump wants investigation into unproven claims of voter fraud

In this March 18, 2014, file photo, voters cast their ballots in the Illinois primary in Hinsdale, Ill. (M. Spencer Green / Associated Press)
In this March 18, 2014, file photo, voters cast their ballots in the Illinois primary in Hinsdale, Ill. (M. Spencer Green / Associated Press)
By Michael A. Memoli Tribune News Service

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump says he will ask for a “major investigation” into potential voter fraud in the election, a probe that he says could lead to new laws on voter access.

In a Wednesday morning tweet, Trump said his investigation would focus on three areas: people registered to vote in multiple states, non-citizens voting, and votes attributed to the names of deceased individuals.

The declaration comes after Trump once again, without evidence, expressed his view that as many 5 million illegal votes were cast last November – a tally that he and the White House has said is based on “studies” and “evidence” presented to the president.

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer on Tuesday floated the idea of an investigation in response to multiple questions about Trump’s unproven claims.

A 2012 Pew Center study found that 1.8 million deceased individuals were still listed as voters, and that 2.75 million people were registered to vote in multiple states. But it found no evidence that false votes were cast. The number of people registered in multiple states was largely attributed to the number of people who moved in the preceding four years – particularly as a result of the Great Recession and the high rate of mobility among young individuals.

Spicer also alluded to an Old Dominion University study from 2008, which found 14 percent of people who voted were non-citizens. Many independent experts said the study’s methodology was severely flawed.

Left unsaid in the pair of Twitter messages is who would conduct the study, and many on the left quickly expressed concern that one led by the administration would be used as a precursor to enact further limitations on voting.

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