Vote Here sign

A Vote Here sign and Photo ID sign at Saks High School during the June 3 primary.

Photo by Bill Wilson.

Widespread voter fraud in American elections, particularly national ones, is nothing more than an alarmist headline. Facts and truth show the way.

That, however, doesn’t stop people like President-elect Donald Trump and U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Huntsville, from pushing the false notion that American elections can be stolen and that throngs of ineligible voters cast ballots last month on Election Day.

This week, Brooks took to the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives and delivered a five-minute speech detailing these claims and calling the media to task for, in his view, ignoring the facts and offering voter-fraud reports that support Democratic Party talking points. He’s hardly the first GOP politician to make that claim.

But Brooks also said this:

“We will never know for sure if hundreds of thousands or millions of noncitizens voted in the 2016 elections.”

Well, wrong.

On Thursday, The Washington Post reported that there had been only four documented cases of voter fraud in this year’s presidential election. More than 135 million voters went to the polls on Nov. 8, and to date there are only four documented cases of fraud — none of which, according to The Post, furthered the xenophobic nature of Republicans’ claims that undocumented people are the catalyst for these so-called instances of election-day fraud.

The four cases included: a woman in Iowa who voted twice; a man in Texas who voted twice; a woman in Illinois who voted for her deceased husband; and a woman in Florida who marked absentee ballots as she counted them. (She marked the ballots for a mayoral candidate, not the president’s race.)

None of that lines up with Brooks’ outlandish claim that “hundreds of thousands or millions of noncitizens” may have corrupted this year’s elections — elections in which Republican candidates by and large did very well.

And none of that lines up with Trump’s recent Twitter claim that “In addition to winning the Electoral College in a landslide, I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally.” The president-elect’s tweet didn’t include proof of said voter fraud because there isn’t any. “In reality, studies have consistently shown that voter fraud is nowhere near common enough to call into question millions and millions of votes,” wrote in its fact-checking of Trump’s claim.

Republicans in Washington, including the president-elect himself, have much more important issues to tackle than voter fraud. The country will be better off when they drop this xenophobic obsession and move on to something based in truth.