Hillary Clinton garnered more than 800,000 votes from noncitizens on Nov. 8, an approximation far short of President Trump’s estimate of up to 5 million illegal voters but supportive of his charges of fraud.
Political scientist Jesse Richman of Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia, has worked with colleagues to produce groundbreaking research on noncitizen voting, and this week he posted a blog in response to Mr. Trump’s assertion.
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. He extrapolated that that percentage would have added 834,381 net votes for Mrs. Clinton, who received about 2.8 million more votes than Mr. Trump.
“Most voters are never asked for voter ID, so it is dishonest to suggest that with the tens of millions of illegal and legal aliens here, there is no voter fraud,” said Tom Fitton, who heads the conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch. “If the key Old Dominion study results on the 2008 election are applied to 2016 — 1.41 million aliens may have voted illegally, with 1.13 million voting for Democrats.”
“A federal voter fraud investigation is long overdue,” Mr. Fitton said. “It would be a simple matter of analyzing voter registration databases against federal databases of aliens and deceased individuals. Why is the left afraid to even ask the questions? The jig is up.”
There does not appear to be any concerted postelection effort by states to take on the daunting task of checking voter rolls and ballots to verify citizenship. In some states, no ID is required to register and vote.
In the absence of detailed accounting, the only scientific way to make an estimate is by post-vote polling.
Mr. Richman relies on a one-of-a-kind poll: the Cooperative Congressional Election Survey. Every two years, a consortium of 28 universities produces a detailed report on voters and their views based on polling by YouGov.
Tucked inside the lengthy questionnaire is a question on citizenship status: A significant number of respondents anonymously acknowledged they were not citizens when they voted.
Three professors at Old Dominion University — Mr. Richman, Gulshan A. Chattha and David C. Earnest — took these answers, did further research and extrapolated that of a 19.4 million estimate of adult noncitizens, about 620,000 were illegally registered to vote in the 2008 presidential election. Using other measuring tools, they said, the actual number of noncitizen voters could be as low as 38,000 and as high as 2.8 million.
The U.S. Census Bureau reported in 2012 that there are 22 million noncitizens in the country. The group comprises illegal immigrants and people in the U.S. legally on a visa or permanent resident green card. Of this 22 million, 20 million were 18 or older, the U.S. voting age requirement.
The WikiLeaks dump of Clinton campaign manger John Podesta’s emails contained one message on directing immigrants to vote. He said immigrants should obtain driver’s licenses and then attest at a polling place that they are U.S. citizens.