25 Million Clinton Votes Weren’t Fake

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Fact-Checks | Election Disinformation | Voter Fraud | Trump Lost

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Quick Take

Q: Did NPR report that a study found “over 25 million Hillary Clinton votes were completely fraudulent,” and that she “actually lost the popular vote”?

A: No. That claim was made in a story that conflates a 2012 article about inaccuracies in voter registration rolls with actual fraudulent votes.
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Saw something about NPR doing a study finding there were 25 million fraudulent votes for Hillary meaning she did not win the popular vote. Any truth?


NPR did not report that a study found “over 25 million Hillary Clinton votes were completely fraudulent, meaning that the Democratic candidate actually lost the popular vote by a huge margin.” Nor is there “a study by the Pew Center claiming that over 800,000 non-citizens voted for” Clinton.

Those false claims were made in an item published July 26 on Conservativearmy88.com that Facebook users flagged as potentially fake news. The same story appeared Jan. 29 on YourNewsWire.com, which was based in part on an earlier article from Infowars — a conservative website notorious for advancing conspiracy theories and publishing thinly sourced reports.

In this case, YourNewsWire.com — and later conservativearmy88.com — misrepresented the Infowars story, which did not claim that Clinton received more than 25 million fraudulent votes in the 2016 presidential election. That would be more than one-third of her nearly 66 million votes.

First, let’s look at what Infowars wrote.

Infowars, Jan. 27: A study revealing that over 800,000 non-citizens voted for Hillary Clinton doesn’t account for dead and fraudulent voters, which accounted for over 25 million “registered voters” during the 2012 presidential election — and little has changed since then.

Illegal alien voters combined with dead and “multiple state” voters could easily explain Clinton’s “popular vote” margin over Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election, especially considering that her “victory” came from Democratic-controlled counties known for illegal immigration and loose voter ID laws such as in New York and California.

“A report by the Pew Center on the States finds that more than 1.8 million dead people are currently registered to vote, and 24 million registrations are either invalid or inaccurate,” NPR reported in 2012, which is ironic given how NPR is heavily controlled by Democrats.

NPR did report in 2012 on a study by the Pew Center on the States that found that about 24 million voting registrations in the U.S. were invalid or inaccurate, including more than 1.8 million deceased persons who were still on the voter registration rolls.

Of course, the Pew report made no claims about the outcome of the 2016 presidential campaign.

Still, YourNewsWire.com went beyond NPR’s reporting to falsely state, “A study published by NPR reveals that over 25 million Hillary Clinton votes were completely fraudulent, meaning that the Democratic candidate actually lost the popular vote by a huge margin.”

As we have written, when President Donald Trump also misrepresented the 2012 Pew report, inaccuracies in voter registration rolls are not the same as actual fraudulent votes.

The authors of the Pew report said their study showed that voter rolls are “susceptible to fraud,” though they did not claim it was evidence of actual fraud. Rather, they said that it was evidence of the need to upgrade and update voter registration systems.

In a tweet on Nov. 28, 2016, the primary author of the report, David Becker, said:

In addition, there is no “study by the Pew Center” that says more than 800,000 noncitizens voted for Clinton in 2016, as the YourNewsWire.com story claims.

In its story, Infowars referred to “a study revealing that over 800,000 non-citizens voted for Hillary Clinton,” but it wasn’t a Pew study. In fact, there was no study at all that made such a claim.

Infowars misrepresented the work of Old Dominion University political scientist Jesse Richman. The website did not mention Richman, but it linked to a Jan. 26 article by the Washington Times about Richman — specifically a blog post he wrote that refuted Trump’s claim about voter fraud.

Trump claimed in a tweet on Nov. 27, 2016, that he would have “won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally.” Trump lost the popular vote by nearly 2.9 million votes. Drawing on his 2014 study of noncitizen voting in the 2008 election, Richman extrapolated that Clinton could have received 834,318 additional votes from noncitizens. (Richman’s 2014 study, as we have written, is controversial and has been disputed — a point that Richman noted in his blog post.)

“Based on national polling by a consortium of universities, a report by Mr. Richman said 6.4 percent of the estimated 20 million adult noncitizens in the U.S. voted in November,” the Times wrote. “He extrapolated that that percentage would have added 834,381 [sic] net votes for Mrs. Clinton, who received about 2.8 million more votes than Mr. Trump.”

In a Jan. 27 blog post responding to the Washington Times article, Richman made clear that he was not asserting that Clinton actually received 834,318 votes (the Times incorrectly said 834,381 votes). He said he doesn’t know how many noncitizens may have voted for Clinton.

“What extrapolation I did to the 2016 election was purely and explicitly and exclusively for the purpose of pointing out that my 2014 study of the 2008 election did not provide evidence of voter fraud at the level some Trump administration people were claiming it did,” Richman wrote.

In an update to that post, Richman added, “As I have no national data specifically for 2016 I do not have a specific point estimate for that year.”

Editor’s note: FactCheck.org is one of several organizations working with Facebook to help identify and label viral fake news stories flagged by readers on the social media network. 

Editor’s note: FactCheck.org is one of several organizations working with Facebook to debunk misinformation shared on social media. Our previous stories can be found here. Facebook has no control over our editorial content.


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Adl-Tabatabai, Sean. “NPR: 25 Million Votes For Clinton ‘Completely Fake’ – She Lost Popular Vote.” Yournewswire.com. 29 Jan 2017.

Daniels, Kit. “Bombshell: At Least 25 Million Dead and Fraudulent ‘Registered Voters’ in 2016.” Infowars.com. 27 Jan 2017.

Scarborough, Rowan. “Trump argument bolstered: Clinton could have received 800,000 votes from noncitizens.” Washington Times. 26 Jan 2017.

Richman, Jesse, et al. “Do non-citizens vote in U.S. elections?” Electoral Studies, Volume 36. Dec 2014.

Ansolabehere, Stephen, et al. “The perils of cherry picking low frequency events in large sample surveys.” Electoral Studies, Volume 40. Jul 2015.

Daniels, Kit. “Bombshell: At Least 25 Million Dead and Fraudulent ‘Registered Voters’ in 2016.” Infowars.com. 27 Jan 2017.

Pew Center on the States. “Inaccurate, Costly, and Inefficient.” Feb 2012.

Fessler, Pam. “Study: 1.8 Million Dead People Still Registered To Vote.” NPR. 14 Feb 2012.

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Farley, Robert. “More Bogus Voter Fraud from Trump.” FactCheck.org. 21 Oct 2016

Farley, Robert. “Trump Sticks With Bogus Voter Fraud Claims.” FactCheck.org. 28 Nov 2016

Farley, Robert. “Trump’s Bogus Voter Fraud Claims Revisited.” FactCheck.org. 25 Jan 2017.

Farley, Robert. “More Trump Deception on Voter Fraud.” FactCheck.org. 26 Jan 2017.

Richman, Jesse. “I do not support the Washington Times Piece.” Old Dominion University. Blog post. 31 Jan 2017.

Richman, Jesse. “Is it plausible that non-citizen votes account for the entire margin of Trump’s popular vote loss to Clinton?” Old Dominion University. Blog post. 24 Jan 2017.