McConnell: 'There is voter fraud'

Published: Feb. 15, 2017 at 5:26 PM EST|Updated: Feb. 15, 2017 at 6:24 PM EST
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LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Kentucky's senior U.S. senator who's also the majority leader of the Senate said his home state has seen "significant cases" of voter fraud for years.

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Several examples appear to support the claim made Wednesday by Mitch McConnell, including one county race in Eastern Kentucky that was thrown out because of possible corruption.

McConnell said the following to MSNBC anchorman Joe Scarborough during his "Morning Joe" show (click here to watch):

"There's no evidence that enough votes were stolen to change the outcome of the (general) election," McConnell said. "I do want to point out, though, the Democratic myth that voter fraud is a fiction is not true. We've had a series of significant cases in Kentucky over the years. There is voter fraud in the country."

When WAVE 3 News reached out to McConnell's office for a response, a spokesman shared a link to an August report by the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting, listed out by excerpt below:

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+ "Just (last year), a federal court jury found three people guilty of conspiring to buy votes in Magoffin County on behalf of candidates for local offices. Witnesses testified that they were paid $50 to vote for a particular slate of candidates in 2014. A state court judge had already vacated the county's 2014 judge-executive election after concluding that rampant corruption made it impossible to determine who won."

+ "Three weeks before primary election day in 1987, (a) fixer crammed cases of beer into the back of his car and threw a party behind his house in eastern Kentucky. His purpose: to lock up the votes of the 30 or so men and women who attended."

+ "Another day (in 1987), the fixer went looking for a hunting and fishing crony who could be counted on to haul voters to the polls. To seal the deal, the fixer stuck a $50 bill into his pal's shirt pocket."

+ "In 2012, election fraud was a family affair in the Floyd County community of Martin. Mayor Ruth Thomasine Robinson, her husband and his son all were convicted of vote buying in connection with her bid for re-election."

+ "Eight prominent Clay County politicians pleaded guilty in 2013 to participating in a racketeering conspiracy to gain control of the local board of elections and determine which candidates won and lost."

+ "In Monroe County, near Bowling Green, 10 defendants were convicted of conspiring to buy votes in connection with the 2006 general election. One of them, Judge-Executive Wilbur Graves won, but was defeated for reelection four years later, while under indictment in the case."

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In Indiana, WAVE 3 News reported in October that a voter-fraud investigation spanned 56 counties.

McConnell made it clear he did not think the 2016 presidential race was swayed by voter fraud.

His opponent in his last senate race, Kentucky Secretary of State Allison Grimes, echoed McConnell on that point. Grimes responded to a Congressional inquiry about voter fraud with a letter last week in which she said her office had no evidence of any illegal votes in the presidential race.

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"As for the November 2016 Presidential Election in the Commonwealth of Kentucky, any allegation that that type of voter fraud about which you inquire occurred is irresponsible and unfounded," she wrote.

Watch McConnell's nearly six-minute interview on "Morning Joe" below:

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