Top GOP election lawyer slams Trump's vote fraud claims, says the GOP searched fruitlessly for decades

Benjamin Ginsberg in Bush v. Gore in 2000
(Image credit: Vincent LaForet/AFP/Getty Images)

"Legions of Republican lawyers have searched in vain over four decades for fraudulent double voting," Benjamin Ginsberg, a newly retired top Republican Party election lawyer, writes in a Washington Post op-ed published late Tuesday. "At long last, they have a blatant example of a major politician urging his supporters to illegally vote twice. The only hitch is that the candidate is President Trump."

Trump's repeated exhortations to commit vote fraud, paired with his frequent claims that the election will be "rigged" and "fraudulent," are "doubly wrong," Ginsberg writes. They make the GOP's "torrent of 2020 voting litigation" look like "transactional hypocrisy," and they are false. "The truth is that after decades of looking for illegal voting, there's no proof of widespread fraud," he concedes. "At most, there are isolated incidents — by both Democrats and Republicans. Elections are not rigged."

"These are painful conclusions for me to reach," Ginsberg adds, setting out an overview of his "38 years in the GOP's legal trenches," including serving as counsel to the Republican National Committee and six of the last four GOP presidential nominees.

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Each Election Day since 1984, I've been in precincts looking for voting violations, or in Washington helping run the nationwide GOP Election Day operations, overseeing the thousands of Republican lawyers and operatives each election on alert for voting fraud. In every election, Republicans have been in polling places and vote tabulation centers. Republican lawyers in every state have been able to examine mail-in/absentee ballot programs. [Benjamin Ginsberg, The Washington Post]

The GOP lawyers and conservative activists found only a "minuscule" amount of fraud, mail-in or otherwise, and despite looking, Trump's 2016 campaign "could produce no hard evidence of systemic fraud," Ginsberg writes. Trump even put "the most vociferous hunters of Democratic election fraud" in charge of presidential commission on "election integrity," he notes, and "it disbanded without finding anything." Read Ginsberg's entire op-ed, including his warning for the GOP, at The Washington Post.

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Peter Weber

Peter Weber is a senior editor at, and has handled the editorial night shift since the website launched in 2008. A graduate of Northwestern University, Peter has worked at Facts on File and The New York Times Magazine. He speaks Spanish and Italian and plays bass and rhythm cello in an Austin rock band. Follow him on Twitter.