Study of nonci­t­i­zen votes close to Trump’s num­ber

The Washington Times Daily - - NATION - BY ROWAN SCARBOROUGH

A re­search group in New Jersey has taken a fresh look at post­elec­tion polling data and con­cluded that the num­ber of nonci­t­i­zens vot­ing il­le­gally in U.S. elec­tions is likely far greater than pre­vi­ous es­ti­mates.

As many as 5.7 mil­lion nonci­t­i­zens may have voted in the 2008 elec­tion, which put Barack Obama in the White House.

The re­search or­ga­ni­za­tion Just Facts, a widely cited, in­de­pen­dent think tank led by self-de­scribed con­ser­va­tives and lib­er­tar­i­ans, re­vealed its num­ber-crunch­ing in a re­port on na­tional im­mi­gra­tion.

Just Facts Pres­i­dent James D. Agresti and his team looked at data from an ex­ten­sive Har­vard/YouGov study that every two years ques­tions a sam­ple size of tens of thou­sands of vot­ers. Some ac­knowl­edge they are nonci­t­i­zens and are thus in­el­i­gi­ble to vote.

Just Facts’ con­clu­sions con­front both sides in the il­le­gal vot­ing de­bate: those who say it hap­pens a lot and those who say the prob­lem nonex­is­tent.

In one camp, there are ground­break­ing stud­ies by pro­fes­sors at Old Do­min­ion Univer­sity in Vir­ginia who at­tempted to com­pile sci­en­tif­i­cally de­rived il­le­gal vot­ing num­bers us­ing the Har­vard data, called the Co­op­er­a­tive Con­gres­sional Elec­tion Study.

On the other side are the pro­fes­sors who con­ducted the study and con­tended that “zero” nonci­t­i­zens of about 18 mil­lion adults in the U.S. voted. The lib­eral main­stream me­dia adopted this po­si­tion and pro­claimed the Old Do­min­ion work was “de­bunked.”

The ODU pro­fes­sors, who stand by their work in the face of at­tacks from the left, con­cluded that in 2008 as few as 38,000 and as many as 2.8 mil­lion nonci­t­i­zens voted.

Mr. Agresti’s anal­y­sis of the same polling data set­tled on much higher num­bers. He es­ti­mated that as many as 7.9 mil­lion nonci­t­i­zens were il­le­gally reg­is­tered that year and 594,000 to 5.7 mil­lion voted.

These num­bers are more in line with the un­ver­i­fied es­ti­mates given by Pres­i­dent Trump, who said the num­ber of bal­lots cast by nonci­t­i­zens was the rea­son he lost the pop­u­lar vote to Hil­lary Clin­ton.

Last month, the pres­i­dent signed an ex­ec­u­tive or­der set­ting up a com­mis­sion to try to find on-the-ground truth in il­le­gal vot­ing. Headed by Vice Pres­i­dent Mike Pence, the panel also will look at out­dated voter lists across the na­tion with names of dead peo­ple and mul­ti­ple reg­is­trants.

For 2012, Just Facts said, 3.2 mil­lion to 5.6 mil­lion nonci­t­i­zens were reg­is­tered to vote and 1.2 mil­lion to 3.6 mil­lion of them voted.

Mr. Agresti lays out his rea­son­ing in a se­ries of com­pli­cated cal­cu­la­tions, which he com­pares to U.S. Cen­sus Bureau fig­ures for nonci­t­i­zen res­i­dents. Polls show nonci­t­i­zens vote over­whelm­ingly Demo­cratic.

“The de­tails are tech­ni­cal, but the fig­ure I cal­cu­lated is based on a more con­ser­va­tive mar­gin of sam­pling er­ror and a method­ol­ogy that I con­sider to be more ac­cu­rate,” Mr. Agresti told The Wash­ing­ton Times.

He be­lieves the Har­vard/YouGov re­searchers based their “zero” claim on two flawed as­sump­tions. First, they as­sumed that peo­ple who said they voted and iden­ti­fied a can­di­date did not vote un­less their names showed up in a data­base.

“This is il­log­i­cal, be­cause such data­bases are un­likely to ver­ify vot­ers who use fraud­u­lent iden­ti­ties, and mil­lions of nonci­t­i­zens use them,” Mr. Agresti said.

He cites gov­ern­ment au­dits that show large num­bers of nonci­t­i­zens use false IDs and So­cial Se­cu­rity num­bers in or­der to func­tion in the U.S., which could in­clude vot­ing.

Sec­ond, Har­vard as­sumed that re­spon­dent cit­i­zens some­times misiden­ti­fied them­selves as nonci­t­i­zens but also con­cluded that nonci­t­i­zens never misiden­ti­fied them­selves as cit­i­zens, Mr. Agresti said.

“This is ir­ra­tional, be­cause il­le­gal im­mi­grants often claim they are cit­i­zens in or­der to con­ceal the fact that they are in the U.S. il­le­gally,” he said.

Some of the polled nonci­t­i­zens de­nied they were reg­is­tered to vote when pub­licly avail­able data­bases show that they were, he said.

This con­clu­sion, he said, is backed by the Har­vard/YouGov study’s find­ings of vote data matches for 90 per­cent of par­tic­i­pants but only 41 per­cent of nonci­t­i­zen re­spon­dents.

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