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By Jane C. Timm

President Donald Trump said Thursday that voter fraud is widespread and again claimed that "millions and millions" of votes were cast fraudulently.

"In many places, like California, the same person votes many times. You've probably heard about that. They always like to say that's a conspiracy theory. Not a conspiracy theory, folks," Trump said in West Virginia while talking about how immigrants won't vote for Republicans. "Millions and millions of people."

There is no evidence that there has been any type of substantial vote fraud anywhere in the U.S., or that undocumented immigrants cast millions of illegal ballots as he suggests here.

Trump has previously claimed, without evidence, that millions of illegal votes cost him the popular vote in 2016 against Hillary Clinton, who had about 3 million more votes.

Voter fraud is extremely rare. A researcher at Loyola University in Los Angeles reviewed a billion ballots and found 31 cases of voter impersonation, while an Arizona State University study found 10 cases in a review of a decade of ballots. Government investigations have similarly found few cases to prosecute, with just a handful of convictions nationwide. In rulings against state voter ID laws, courts have routinely cited a lack of evidence.

The president's own attorneys have argued against the reality of voter fraud, too.

“All available evidence suggests that the 2016 general election was not tainted by fraud or mistake,” his lawyers wrote in a court filing posted by The Washington Post that opposed a recount effort.

The president formed a voter fraud commission in 2017, but disbanded it early this year amid a slew of legal fights; it had not found any proof of widespread voter fraud.