President Donald Trump keeps repeating the false claim that millions of illegal immigrants voted for his opponent, Hillary Clinton, in the 2016 election.
If that did happen, and there’s zero evidence that it did, there’s a microscopic likelihood that any of those illegal ballots came from Utah.
Mark Thomas, who heads up Utah’s elections office, says the last thing a person who is in Utah illegally would want to do is try to register to vote.
“At some point during the whole election process, you have to show ID. When someone registers to vote, we check with the driver’s license department, ping their name against the Social Security database. If someone were here illegally, I would think the last thing they would wanna do is put themselves through that kind of scrutiny,” said Thomas.
Thomas says about eight years ago the legislature feared some people had illegally registered to vote in Utah and ordered an audit.
“That audit came back with 130 names that may have been registered illegally. The Attorney General investigated those names and found that in all but two cases, there was an error in their registration or incomplete information,” said Thomas.
And what about those two other names?
“We couldn’t find them. They never voted, but we couldn’t tell if they were illegal or not. We just couldn’t get any info, and we don’t think they were in the state anymore.”
Thomas says they’ve only improved their procedures for screening out fraudulent registrations over time.
“This is not a big issue. In fact, it’s the exact opposite of that,” says Thomas. “The likelihood is just so small, and we continue to monitor it. We work very hard to make sure we have a fair and transparent election.”
So where are those millions of claimed illegal votes coming from?
“I don’t know what information Donald Trump has but, at least here in Utah, it’s very hard to do that.”