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Poll: Some voters cling to unproven claims of rigged election, illegal voting

FILE - In this Nov. 8, 2016 file photo, a voter enters a booth at a polling place in Exeter, N.H. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola, File)

A new poll suggests many voters have concerns about the integrity of the election, including large numbers of Clinton and Trump supporters, but their basis for those beliefs is dubious.

A YouGov poll conducted earlier this week attempted to assess how voters felt about the recount efforts headed by Green Party candidate Jill Stein in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. Donald Trump won each of those states by a narrow margin.

Hillary Clinton’s campaign has agreed to participate in recounts, but her aides have made clear that they do not expect the results of the election to change. In a Medium post, campaign attorney Marc Elias said they have uncovered no evidence of hacking or outside influence, but they owe it to their 64 million supporters to ensure that the count is accurate.

"Our participation is not meant to signal to anyone that we believe the results of the election will change... If the campaign thought that the results could change based on a recount, we would have sought them," Elias told the Washington Post. "We didn’t."

Many of the candidate’s supporters have higher hopes. According to the poll, 42 percent of Clinton voters believe there is a “good chance” the recounts will prove Clinton really won.

A nearly equal percentage of Trump voters have their own misconceptions about the race, according to the poll. While only 26 percent of all Americans believe the unsubstantiated claim--promoted by Trump on Twitter--that millions of people voted illegally, 43 percent of Trump supporters say it is true.

Trump has alleged without evidence that he would have won the popular vote if those supposed illegal votes were not counted. Nearly 40 percent of his supporters agree with that.

Despite their belief that many illegal votes were cast, only 12 percent of Trump voters think the election was “rigged.” However, 32 percent of Clinton supporters now feel it was rigged.

This is a massive shift from a pre-election Suffolk University poll where more than two-thirds of Trump supporters said election results might be manipulated. About 80 percent of Clinton voters expected the results to be fair and accurate at the time.

The web-based YouGov poll interviewed 1,000 respondents with a margin of error of 3.9 percent.

A CNN report Thursday provided further evidence of how deeply ingrained some false beliefs are, and of where the misinformation comes from.

Speaking to a panel of longtime Trump supporters, host Alisyn Camerota tried to convince them that there is no evidence 3 million people voted illegally. Refusing to accept that, one insisted falsely that President Obama told illegal immigrants they could vote.

“Google it. You could find it on Facebook,” another told the perplexed Camerota.


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