Voting rights activists are concerned after president-elect Donald Trump took to Twitter to claim widespread voter fraud in three states without any basis for his claims.
On Sunday, Trump took to Twitter to claim that there was “serious voter fraud in Virginia, New Hampshire and California,” and that he “won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally.”
Experts say that these claims are unfounded and false, but what’s more, voting rights activists who are pushing for expanded voter access fear that these claims could hurt voting access.
“The false notion that voter fraud is something that we are contending with in our country is an invitation for lawmakers to act,” said Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.
There are real fears that such claims could spur lawmakers to take action against a threat that does not even exist.
“At the state level, the worries are, when the president-elect is claiming massive voter fraud, people who are unscrupulously seeking to push politically motivated restrictions will jump on those statements, and use them to justify efforts to roll back voting rights even further,” said Wendy Weiser, an expert on voting rights and the director of the Democracy Program at the Brennan Center of Justice at New York University School of Law. “That is a concern.”