In Wisconsin, some lawmakers and political experts are reminding people that voter fraud is virtually "non-existent" according to the findings of our presidential recount in December.
On Thursday, President Donald Trump said he wants a federal investigation into what he calls widespread voter fraud that made him lose the popular vote in the general elections, even though he won the election according to the Electoral College. President Trump claims nearly three-and-a-half million votes were fraudulent in the 2016 election.
There are two conclusions Wisconsin elections officials reached after the recount in Wisconsin.
The first: Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton in Wisconsin by 131 more votes than first thought.
The second conclusion, according to analysts, is there is no proof whatsoever in Wisconsin of voting machines being tampered with, or even voter ID fraud.
"How do you go from a recount that found no fraudulent efforts, no mistakes made in counting, essentially," says Political Science professor emeritus Michael Kraft, "to arguing that the country is faced with a voter system that is falling apart? It's just nonsensical, and it should be put down as quickly as it can."
Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein also pushed for recounts in Pennsylvania, and Michigan.
But in December, Trump's lawyers blocked those, saying in a written argument "all available evidence suggests that the 2016 general election was not tainted by fraud or mistake."
"So, we have a quite bizarre situation where the president of the United States is alleging massive voter fraud, when in fact, every legitimate study says there's not only no massive fraud, there's no fraud at all," says Kraft, "and the election system is still a model for the world."
Wisconsin's recount lasted 12 days, and cost a little more than $2 million dollars, which was about $1.5 million less than expected.
We reached out to several Wisconsin lawmakers for their reaction to President Trump's call for a federal investigation into voter fraud.
Wisconsin Democratic U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin, in an official statement to NBC26, says:
“The fact is, President Trump lost the popular vote by almost three million votes and no alternative facts or investigation is going to change that. Senator Baldwin appreciates the work of state and local election officials on the recount, which eliminated any doubt about the integrity of the vote in Wisconsin so an investigation is a waste of time and taxpayer money. It’s time to move on.”
NBC26 also reached out to Republican U.S. Senator Ron Johnson for a response, but our efforts were not returned by news time.
House Speaker Paul Ryan was also pressed by reporters Thursday regarding Trump's claims.
"Look, I've already commented on that," replied Ryan [R - WI], "I've seen no evidence to that effect, and I've made that very, very clear."
Democratic State Rep. Gordon Hintz [D - Oshkosh] is even clearer on his stance regarding Trump's claims.
"They're dangerous," says Hintz. "They have a negative impact on the confidence in our system, and as we know in Wisconsin--I think Democrats and Republicans agree--we felt good about our electoral results."
While the reasons behind Trump's push for a federal investigation is still unclear, Kraft says the focus on the issue is taking our attention away from what really matters.
"It's distracting from some of the most major changes in public policy at the national level we've ever seen," says Kraft, referring to Trump's several executive orders signed since Monday, "that deserve our undivided attention, and careful scrutiny."