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Maricopa County recorder calls Trump’s voter fraud task force waste of time, money

(Nicki Kohl/Telegraph Herald via AP)

PHOENIX — A Maricopa County official had some harsh words in response to President Donald Trump’s newly-commissioned task force to investigate voter fraud in U.S. elections.

Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes said there is no need for a task force to investigate wide-spread voter fraud because it is simply a non-issue.

“There is no widespread voter fraud in the United States of America, there is no evidence of widespread voter fraud in the United States of America. There has never been any widespread voter fraud in the United States of America,” Fontes said.

Fontes continued, saying it is fruitless to spend all kinds of “time and energy and money on completely unfounded mythology.”

“We’ve got elections to run, and I don’t need this kind of nonsense polluting the public arena with silliness,” he said.

To prove his point that widespread voter fraud is a non-issue, Fontes pointed to a recent Brennan Center study that found voter fraud happens only “on very rare occasions,” equates to less than one percent and is not widespread.

“For example — in Ohio, it amounts to .0015 percent, in Nevada, .0003 percent,” Fontes said. “In other words, they had a handful of incidents at best.”

The study also cited an earlier News21 report, which, despite finding that Arizona had just 13 cases of double voting from 2012 to 2016, concluded that voter fraud is “not a persistent problem.”

Trump has repeated his claims of widespread voter fraud since the 2016 presidential election. He has repeatedly claimed that 3 to 5 million people living in the U.S. illegally cast ballots, handing Hillary Clinton the popular vote.

But Trump’s theory of widespread voter fraud has been debunked time and time again by all 50 states, plus the District of Colombia.

In a tweet sent out weeks after the election, Trump alleged that there was “serious voter fraud in Virginia, New Hampshire and California.” But the Brennan Center study found election officials in all three states did not indicate that any non-citizen voting took place.

Fontes commended the president for his “very good sales job,” which has convinced a lot of people “about some sort of massive wave of fraudulent voting that’s been going on,” but asserted that the “facts speak directly in the opposite direction.”

The real problem regarding elections, Fonte said, is the voter suppression that comes as a result of “these kind of political distractions.”

A poll commissioned in December 2016 found that 20 percent of Arizonans believed that there was widespread voter fraud in the presidential election.

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