- REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
President Barack Obama said accusations of widespread voter fraud amounted to “fake news” during the last press conference of his administration on Wednesday.
“This whole notion of voting fraud, this is something that has constantly been disproved,” Obama said. “This is fake news.”
Conservative outlets like Fox News and Breitbart pushed claims of voter fraud during the 2016 election, and some of President-elect Donald Trump’s supporters suggested that undocumented immigrants would go to polls to vote illegally. But US officials found almost no cases of voter fraud in the recent election.
“The notion that there are a whole bunch of people out there who are going out there and are not eligible to vote and want to vote. We have the opposite problem. We have a whole bunch of people who are eligible to vote who don’t vote,” Obama said.
Since Trump’s unexpected victory over Hillary Clinton, the 2016 Democratic nominee for president, many in the media have focused on the prevalence of “fake news” and how it could have swayed some individuals to vote for the Republican businessman.
Obama, likely referring to certain voter ID laws that add a barrier to the voting process, said such laws “don’t make sense.”
While speaking on the subject, the president also recalled America’s long history of voter suppression.
“We are the only country in the advanced world that makes it harder to vote rather than easier. And that dates back, there’s an ugly history to that that we should not be shy about talking about,” Obama said, referring to voting rights.
Obama added: “The reason that we are the only country among advanced democracies that makes it harder to vote is it traces directly back to Jim Crow and the legacy of slavery.”