GOP election official denies voter fraud ‘epidemic’
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The Republican chairman of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission says there is no voter fraud "epidemic" in the U.S.

Asked by the Center for Public Integrity if he thought the 2016 election was rigged, Matthew Masterson replied that the process was "extremely well administered."

"No. The process had integrity. It was extremely well administered. And in the end, the people's voice was heard and the process served voters well," Masterson said in an interview published on Thursday.

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He argued that while any voter fraud must cause concern, the practice is not "widespread."

"Any fraud at all is something to be concerned about. The reality — and this data and information comes from those who directly run elections — is that the state and local election officials, and specifically the secretaries of state across the country that looked into it, find that fraud happens. It's not widespread. It's not an epidemic."

Masterson added that voter fraud must be "identified and prosecuted" and encouraged voters to work with election officials if they suspected fraudulent activity.

"I would encourage any voter, that if they suspect there is fraudulent activity going on, to work with their election officials to say something about it, and they can dig into it to find out what the facts are," he said.

President Trump, who won the Electoral College despite losing the popular vote by nearly 3 million votes, insisted after the election that the race was tainted by millions of illegal votes being cast against him.

Trump pledged to pursue a “major investigation” into voter fraud. The president's critics have instead said he should focus on voter suppression. 

Masterson said voter suppression fears are also unfounded, arguing that the system does not limit opportunities to vote.

"It’s something election officials hear about all the time. I can tell you my experience in Ohio. When we dug into that. It was virtually non-existent," he said. 

"But to the extent that election officials could, they looked at their processes, looked at ways they could both educate the public on the process to serve voters. It is my opinion, in the vast majority of jurisdictions today in America, it is easier to vote today that it has ever been," he added.