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Trump's Voter Fraud Investigation Should Start With His Own Administration

Republicans have sought to identify "voter fraud" by looking for people registered in more than one place. Three voters who have done that are connected directly to Trump.

Donald Trump won the election, thanks exclusively to our arcane Electoral College system. But he did't win the popular vote, and that is apparently driving him crazy. On Wednesday our new God-Emperor repeated his claim that millions of undocumented immigrants cast ballots and called for a "major investigation." He might want to start that investigation with his own administration.

Trump, of course, made his announcement on Twitter.

NBC News reported that Trump advisor Steve Bannon was registered to vote in both Florida and New York until Wednesday. That followed a report by The Guardian from several months ago that revealed the address attached to Bannon's Florida registration was a vacant house.

NBC also discovered that Trump's daughter Tiffany was registered in both New York and Pennsylvania. Then, later on Wednesday afternoon, CNN reported that Treasury pick Steve Mnuchin is registered to vote in both New York and California. Multiple registrations seem to be popular among those connected to Trump.

It has to be said that it's not illegal to register in more than one state. It's illegal to actually vote in multiple states or locales. But the revelation that Bannon and Mnuchin have until recently been registered in two locations should be problematic for Trump due to his association with one Chris Kobach. It is entirely likely Trump is getting his claim of millions of illegal voters casting ballots from Kobach's efforts at voter suppression.

Kobach is currently the Secretary of State for Kansas. In 2005 he started a program called Interstate Crosscheck, that was supposedly intended to help identify people who may attempt to commit voter fraud by registering in more than one state. That program, now used in some 30 states, does nothing to identify real or potential voter fraud. But what it does do is attempt to disenfranchise minority voters, who of course are more likely to vote for Democrats.

Investigative journalist Greg Palast reported on his website that the Crosscheck program is the real story of election fraud. Most of the names found on Crosscheck lists obtained by Palast are ones that are more likely to belong to black and Hispanic voters. Palast notes that in three states where Trump won by small margins, voters totaling many times his victory margin were purged from the rolls by Crosscheck.

The Interstate Crosscheck program uses a methodology that is so flawed it is almost laughable, except that the subject is so serious. In a report for Rolling Stone last August Palast described the response when he asked an expert to look at data he had obtained from two states. This is what he wrote:

We had Mark Swedlund, a database expert whose clients include eBay and American Express, look at the data from Georgia and Virginia, and he was shocked by Crosscheck's "childish methodology." He added, "God forbid your name is Garcia, of which there are 858,000 in the U.S., and your first name is Joseph or Jose. You're probably suspected of voting in 27 states."

This is how pathetic the Crosscheck database is. The list obtained by Palast has a voter in Georgia named Michael Eugene Jackson Sr. as being potentially the same person as a Virginia voter named Michael Leburn Jackson. And that is just one of many examples on the list.

What is really funny about the Crosscheck program is that we now know of three people connected to Trump who have definitely been registered to vote in more than one location. And it's a good bet that none of their names appear in Kobach's database.

Outside of his inner circle Trump is likely to find little if any support for his voter fraud investigation, even from Republicans. Trump's chief GOP nemesis, Senator Lindsey Graham, called on him to stop making the claim. Even Ohio's Republican Secretary of State, Jon Husted, responded to Trump's tweet with one of his own that counters the claim.

Democrats should welcome Trump's voter fraud investigation, because it will give them a chance to talk about things like Interstate Crosscheck and voter disenfranchisement efforts across the country. And they can do so without looking like sore losers, because it won't be their investigation. Trump's desire to "prove" that illegally cast ballots kept him from winning a popular vote victory may reveal his election to be an even bigger fraud than it already appears to be.