Myth of Voter Fraud

It is important to protect the integrity of our elections. But we must be careful not to undermine free and fair access to the ballot in the name of preventing voter fraud. 

President Donald Trump has repeatedly, and falsely, claimed millions voted illegally. Yet examination after examination of voter fraud claims reveal fraud is very rare, voter impersonation is nearly non-existent, and much of the problems associated with alleged fraud relates to unintentional mistakes by voters or election administrators. Election officials and leaders of the president’s own party also agree fraud is not widespread.

The Brennan Center's seminal report "The Truth About Voter Fraud" conclusively demonstrated most allegations of fraud turn out to be baseless — and that of the few allegations remaining, most reveal election irregularities and other forms of election misconduct. And numerous other studies have reached the same conclusion. In a recent report, "Noncitizen Voting: The Missing Millions," the Brennan Center debunked President Trump's claim that millions improperly voted in the 2016 election. 

Voter fraud is not acceptable in our elections, but we must find solutions that address actual problems instead of imposing policies that make it harder for millions of eligible Americans to participate in our democracy.

Resources on Voter Fraud Claims

Credible research and investigation demonstrates fraud by voters at the polls is exceedingly rare.

Analysis: Noncitizen Voting is Vanishingly Rare

For years, the Brennan Center has collected research showing that voter fraud is extraordinarily rare.  We've reviewed the literature on one subset of voter fraud claims — the allegation that ineligible noncitizens are voting in large numbers.

In Their Own Words: Officials Refuting Trump's Voter Fraud Allegations

Donald Trump has made repeated claims that millions voted illegally in 2016. This rhetoric around voter fraud has been debunked in study after study. Election officials and leaders of the president’s own party have spoken out against these false claims.


The Justice Department’s Voter Fraud Scandal: Lessons

A decade ago, the Justice Department was upended by scandal after investigations revealed it wielded its power to disenfranchise voters. As the new president threatens investigations into voter fraud, mistakes of the past give concern for the future.

The Truth About Voter Fraud

In 2007, the Brennan Center for Justice carefully examined allegations of fraud to get at the truth behind the claims.  The conclusion was clear — most allegations are baseless.


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