Let's be clear: President-elect Donald Trump's claim that he lost the popular vote because "millions" of illegal immigrants voted is baseless. Hillary Clinton is winning the popular vote by 2 million legally cast votes (and counting). Also, Trump won the electoral college (and even a Green Party-led/Hillary Clinton-backed recount in Wisconsin is unlikely to change …
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Let's be clear: President-elect Donald Trump's claim that he lost the popular vote because "millions" of illegal immigrants voted is baseless.

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Hillary Clinton is winning the popular vote by 2 million legally cast votes (and counting). Also, Trump won the electoral college (and even a Green Party-led/Hillary Clinton-backed recount in Wisconsin is unlikely to change that).

The next question is why Trump is calling "fraud!" We have three theories, some of which I'll admit are a little thin.

1. Maybe he wants to change voting laws: Perhaps one of Trump's priorities as president will be to enact and tighten regulations on who can vote, by requiring IDs or preventing same-day registration. A perfectly Republican thing to do. Perhaps he's trying to lay the groundwork for that now by pointing out how much fraud he thinks there is.

But if that's Trump's strategy, he'll run straight into the facts. We repeat: There is zero evidence of widespread voter fraud, by illegal immigrants or anyone else. Our team of nonpartisan fact checkers rated his claim about illegal immigrants voting "bogus."

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and his wife Melania Trump vote at PS 59 in New York, New York, U.S. November 8, 2016.   REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

Trump and his wife, Melania Trump, cast their ballot in New York City on Nov. 8.(Carlo Allegri/Reuters)

(Side note: Instead of this election tightening voting laws, some experts think it could help motivate states to reform how we vote. This month, Maine instituted a new, ranked voting system that requires the winner to be the first choice of a majority of voters. And Colorado is now opening up its primaries to virtually any eligible voter.)

2. Maybe he doesn't want to be president? Okay, this is a really far-fetched idea, but it's one of the few ways I can try to make sense of the fact that Trump is calling "fraud!" on an election he won. The Fix's Aaron Blake meditates on this head-scratcher: "The logical extension of his argument is that all results should not be trusted."

3. Maybe his ego can't help itself: Honestly, the above explanations don't really make sense. So The Fix's Philip Bump offers up the simplest: Ego. Trump's mandate, at 46.5 percent of the popular vote, is historically small. And Trump has tried to undermine results before when they didn't favor him. Bump thinks he is "leveraging long-standing, unfounded murmurs of rampant voter fraud as a way to assuage his ego, just as he claimed that [Ted] Cruz stole the [Iowa caucus] to save face."

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Breaking down who voted

It's important to remember that when we talk about which Americans voted for which candidate for president, we're not talking about the whole country. We're only talking about a fraction of it — the 40 percent or so who actually voted.


Reminder: There's almost no chance our election can get hacked

A voter examines a ballot at an early voting location, Monday, Oct. 24, 2016, in Worcester, Mass. For the first time in Massachusetts, voters can cast their ballots for president before Election Day. Early voting begins Monday and will continue through Nov. 4. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

(Steven Senne/AP)


Though no one has said it outright, a recount in Wisconsin (and potentially Michigan and Pennsylvania) appears to be rooted in a single notion: Russia's involvement.

U.S. cybersecurity officials think Russia has tried to influence other parts of the election, like leaking damaging Democratic emails or helping spread fake news. But hacking the actual election is a different animal entirely, and it would be nearly impossible to do.

You'd have to successfully get into and manipulate dozens and dozens of voting systems to make a widespread hack work. States have lots of backstops to protect their voting systems from hackers, like these three common protections (as outlined by Florida's official elections board) that seem worth going into now:

1. On election night, results are encoded with multiple layers of encryption and transmitted to a central gathering point.

2. Voting machines themselves are not connected to the Internet, preventing them all from being hacked at once.

3. A week after the election, the results in each precinct are reviewed by looking at the paper totals. Any discrepancies are "researched and noted."

Tracking Trump's campaign promises (all 282 of them)

*** BESTPIX *** AUSTIN, TX - AUGUST 23: Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks to a crowd at the Travis County Exposition Center on August 23, 2016 in Austin, Texas.  Trump emphasized his stance in immigration at the Texas stop.  (Photo by Drew Anthony Smith/Getty Images)

Trump at a rally in August in Austin. (Drew Anthony Smith/Getty Images)

While we're making lists, The Washington Post's lead Trump reporter, Jenna Johnson, has compiled an extraordinary list of all the things Trump has promised he'd do when president. Politicians are prone to making campaign promises, but Trump made an unusually high number of them. Here are some about:

 His demeanor as president:

1. “I’m going to be so presidential, you’re going to be so bored.” He might also quit tweeting.

2. “I refuse to be politically correct.”

How he'll crate jobs:

3. “Get Apple to start building their damn computers and things in this country, instead of in other countries.”

4. Refuse to eat another Oreo until Nabisco fully moves production back to the United States from Mexico.

And bicycles:

“I promise I will never be in a bicycle race. That I can tell you.” (Trump has criticized Secretary of State John Kerry, who was injured while riding a bicycle amid the Iran negotiations.)

I guess we'll never know who's better at riding a bicycle: Trump or this raccoon. Sad!



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