Trump's Election Integrity Commission Makes Fraudulent Claims

            Shawn Jasper, the speaker of New Hampshire's Republican-run House of Representatives, and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, the chairman of Trump's Election Integrity Commission, alleged that fraudulent voters might have stolen New Hampshire's four electoral votes and the U.S. Senate seat away from Republicans.

            They cite the fact that of the 6,540 voters who registered and cast ballots on Election Day, just 1,014 had obtained New Hampshire driver's licenses. Aside of the obvious fact that people who move to a new state do not always rush right out to change their driver's licenses, the Washington Post surmised that many out-of-state college students probably provided the bulk of the same day non-New Hampshire driver's license registered voters. There is no requirement that a voter be a licensed driver, or even hold a New Hampshire driver's license.

            Beyond that, there is nothing suspicious in the 6,540 same day registration figure. Americans move house at a rate of about 1% per month. The 2016 General Election Turnout in New Hampshire was 755,850. So, it would be reasonable to expect a same day registration figure of 7,500 - people who moved into the state within the 30 days before the balloting.

            A closer examination of all the election returns shows that the claims of Jasper and Kobach, in addition to being unprovable, are absurd on their face.  New Hampshire has 1,007,402 registered voters on the checklist. Just 755,850  (75.0%) of those cast ballots, meaning 251,552 did not.

            Furthermore, not all the people who cast ballots voted for president. In a normal year, about 1% of the voters skip the top of the ticket. This year, 11,554 voters (1.5%) did not cast ballots for president.  If you include the 12,029 who threw away their vote by writing-in, that figure rises to 3.1% (that's about 1 out of every 30 voters who couldn't stomach any of the offered candidates for president). And if you want to get really sexy, if you include the 37,951 votes cast for third party candidates, you get 61,534 or 8.1% (that's 1 out of every 12) people who did vote, which proves they're not apathetic, but still refused to cast a ballot for either Clinton or Trump.

            And just to show you how sophisticated the voters are, how every single vote really does count, the 694,316 voters who cast ballots for Clinton and Trump combined are 69% of the registered, in other words almost exactly one out of every three eligible voters did not cast ballots for either Trump or Clinton, Trump got one-third and Clinton got one-third, a three way split. So, how likely could it be that enough "fraudulent" voters from out-of-state or illegal immigrant illegally cast ballots were responsible for Hillary's 2,736 vote margin over Trump. One-third of the people who are eligible to vote refused to vote at all or vote for Clinton or Trump. Now, you're telling me that there are thousands of people willing and anxious to break the law and risk jail to vote for either of these historically unpopular candidates who are being shunned by qualified voters in unprecedented numbers?

            Even the 5,536 same day registrants who did not get New Hampshire driver's licenses would have had to vote for Hillary by a 3 to 1 margin for them to have swung the election to Clinton. How likely is that in an election where everywhere else it is 50 - 50?

The Senate Race

            Well, even if Clinton didn't steal New Hampshire, the Republicans opine, what about Maggie Hassan's narrower 1,017 margin that defeated Republican Senator Kelly Ayotte? Here again, it helps to look at all the votes in an election.

            Usually, about 2% of voters skip Senate races. In New Hampshire in 2016, 2.2% skipped the race, the normal pattern. Ayotte ran 7,842 votes ahead of Trump and Hassan ran 6,123 votes ahead of Clinton.      Assuming everyone who voted for  Clinton voted for Hassan, and everyone who voted for Trump voted for Ayotte, that means the 13,965 extra votes came from the 61,534 people who either did not vote for president or voted for one of the independents. 

            Seeing as these returning independent and non-voters broke for Senator Ayotte 56.15% to Hassan's 43.85%, an additional 8,268 of the 16,710 voters who skipped the Senate race would have had to vote to wipe out Hassan's lead. That would have meant that in the Senate race only 1.1% did not cast ballots, a level of interest greater than the presidential race.  Only if every person who entered the polls had voted in the Senate race, when in fact 3% were skipping the presidential race, could Senator Ayotte have expected to beat Hassan by a narrow 1,038 margin.

Do These Results Make Political Sense? - The Outsized Importance of the New Hampshire Primary

            The New Hampshire Presidential Primary is one of the most important elections in the United States. There have been 17 presidential elections since 1952. Since 1952, only two candidates have been elected president without winning the New Hampshire Primary: Bill Clinton in 1992 and George W. Bush in 2000 (and he really lost the election, it was stolen for him by the Supreme Court and Gore's cowardice).  Even 9 of the losing candidates for president won the New Hampshire primary.  That means that 24 of the 34 major party candidates for president over the past 64 years have won the New Hampshire primary.

            Such an outsized role in picking the president is a heavy burden for a small state like New Hampshire. Yet, it is important to the process that the selection of the president begin in small states where the candidates really have to get out and meet the voters in person, otherwise all presidents would be chosen by the mass media of newspapers and broadcasters. But first of all, do you think it is possible that New Hampshire is so incompetent that with such a huge responsibility they are so sloppy that unauthorized people could cast ballots in their elections? Don't be absurd.

            Beginning in 1992, New Hampshire signaled that it was ready to share the burden of choosing the president by denying Clinton a victory in the primary but supporting him in the General Election. They repeated the feat in 2000 with George W. Bush, signaling clearly that it is possible to lose the New Hampshire primary and still carry the state in November, not to mention the country.

            So, the fact that Trump won the primary and Clinton lost the primary meant nothing. Clinton won the primary in 2008 when she lost the nomination to Obama, and then lost the primary in 2016 when she won the nomination against Sanders. Also, the voters in New Hampshire voted straight Democratic on the federal level, picking up a House and a Senate seat.

            On the state level, however the Republican candidate, Chris Sununu, the son of the former Governor and the brother of the former Senator, won with 354,040 a total that is 609 votes fewer than Maggie Hassan, the top vote getter in the race. That alone would indicate that Hassan's victory was completely legitimate.  Usually, the Governor's race gets more votes than the Senate race. In 2016 in New Hampshire, the senate race got more votes than the Governor's race, an anomalous result.

            But in the House races, the Democrats picked up a seat even though the 716,777 turnout in the race was lower than the Governor's race 724,863. In other words, on the federal level Democrats were winning in both high turnout and low turnout races, certain proof that there were no unauthorized ballots cast to benefit the Democrats.

            But elections do have an internal consistency. The fact that Democrat Maggie Hassan defeated an incumbent for Senate in a high turnout election, and that Democrat Carol Shea-Porter defeated Frank Guinta in a lower turnout election is hard to explain with fraudulent votes. This House seat was won by Shea-Porter in 2012 against Frank Guinta, lost to him in 2014 on a really low turnout, and then won again by Shea-Porter in 2016 on Clinton and Hassan's coattails.                  

Trump's Inflammatory Strategy

            Trump's strategy is based on the assumption that people do not care about policy. He also does not want to share the limelight. Trump is content to make inflammatory remarks to appease his base, and then govern from the middle-right. What he fails to understand is that in politics rhetoric is policy. His racist statements have made it impossible for him to visit the United Kingdom.

            Accusing New Hampshire of vote fraud is going to cost him the primary and general election in New Hampshire in 2020 and Shawn Jasper is going to be shown the door at the next opportunity. New Hampshire is a small state, with 400 state representatives. That's only 2,500 people per legislator. Every legislator knows everyone in her or his district. Do you think it is possible for fraudulent voters to infiltrate that system. In New Hampshire, politics is personal. People talking to people in the flesh. It is like one big small town. Everyone knows everyone else. To accuse such an important state of potentially sloppy election practices is an insult.

Understanding Election Results

            In this age of fake news, never accept an election analysis unless it includes a discussion of all the VOTES cast in the election. Elections are the way people communicate with their representatives and leaders. All communication is theme and variation. Context is everything. There are no permanent victories in politics or absolutes in elections. You cannot understand the meaning of an election result without examining all the votes in that election. Trump's Election Integrity Commission is the biggest fraud of the 2016 election so far.

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Contact: Joshua Leinsdorf