594,000 and 5.7 million Noncitizens Voted in 2008. But How About 2016?
The president of the Just Facts non-profit research and educational institute issued a startling report in June indicating that between 594,000 and 5.7 million noncitizens voted in the 2008 presidential election. Just Facts, a New Jersey-based firm that employs conservative and libertarian policy analysts, was cited (among other places) in a June 22 editorial inInvestor’s Business Dailyheadlined, “Did Votes By Noncitizens Cost Trump The 2016 Popular Vote? Sure Looks That Way.”
Investor’s Business Dailyapplied the 2008 election findings to the 2016 election, stating:
The findings are eye-opening. In 2008, as many as 5.7 million noncitizens voted in the election. In 2012, as many as 3.6 million voted, the study said.
In 2016, the U.S. Census Bureau estimates that there were 21.0 million adult noncitizens in the U.S., up from 19.4 million in 2008. It is therefore highly likely that millions of noncitizens cast votes in 2016.
Just Facts’ findings were challenged by several organizations on the liberal-left side of the political spectrum. One such organization was PolitiFact, which wrote:
The number [of noncitizens voting] comes from a conclusion by Just Facts, a conservative/libertarian think tank. Just Facts’ numbers came from a study by Old Dominion University researchers. That study was based on a survey which showed that 38 people out 32,800 claimed to be noncitizens who had actually voted. Just Facts used data from the study and census estimates on the noncitizen population to come up with a national figure of noncitizen voters.
But other researchers and political scientists have said the small number is not a reliable source of data on noncitizen voters nationwide. We rate this claim False.
In a 2012 article, Jon Cassidy, a writer with the long-respected conservative journalHuman Eventsquestioned PolitiFact’s credibility after examining its work on a case-by-case basis.Human Eventsfound that a pattern emerged whereby Politifact critiqued straw man claims; that is, “dismissed the speaker’s claim, made up a different claim and checked that instead.”