California election officials push back after Trump's latest claim of voter fraud

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In the wake of President Donald Trump's call Wednesday for an investigation into widespread voter fraud, a claim widely seen as without merit, California's Secretary of State Alex Padilla pushed back sharply, calling the contention "a flat-out lie." 

Trump repeated his previous criticism of the voting process on Twitter saying he may move to strengthen voting procedures depending on the investigation's results. 

Padilla said officials have been hearing for several months about Trump's allegations of rampant voter fraud across the country, especially in California, which voted overwhelmingly for Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election.

"But despite our request for any information he may have, they have yet to provide any evidence, any proof to back up their claims," Padilla said. "It's frankly dangerous to people's faith in our democratic system."

Trump's insistence that there was massive voter fraud has confounded political observers who say he may be undermining his own election and that of other Republicans on 2016 voter ballots.

Trump's yet unsubstantiated claim was also dismissed by Democrats and some Republicans.

Here's an excerpt of lawmaker comments from a piece in The Washington Post regarding Trump's voter fraud claims:

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) said Tuesday that he has “seen no evidence to that effect.” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said at a news conference Wednesday that she cannot understand why the newly installed president is “so insecure.”

“To suggest and to undermine the integrity of our voter system is really strange,” Pelosi said. “... On top of it, he wants to investigate something that can clearly be proven to be false, but he resists investigations of a Russian disruption of our election and any connection to his campaign. All we want is the truth for the American people.”

On Tuesday, White House press secretary Sean Spicer fielded questions during a press briefing about President Trump's views on voter fraud. Spicer did not provide specifics on what evidence the president based his statements on.

"I think he stated his concerns of voter fraud and people voting illegally during the campaign and he continues to maintain that belief based on studies and evidence that people have presented to him," Spicer said. 

Los Angeles County Registrar Dean Logan said he is concerned about the impression that Trump's tweets are sending to voters.

"What I think is important is that we don't send a message to our electorate that their vote is in question or that their vote doesn't have value," he said. 

Logan acknowledged that in Los Angeles County duplicate registrations do occur, usually when voters move addresses. Logan also said sometimes people who have died are still on the voter rolls after their death. But he said there's no evidence that those situations have led to incorrect votes. 

"The voter registration list is a fluid list," he said. "There is going to be a timing issue."

Logan said voters should be confident in the system.

"I believe that there are safeguards in place to ensure the integrity of the election," Logan said. 

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