There Is No Fraud

The President's claims have no merit.

The prestige media is making a full-court press against President Trump’s lies about the election. The following are all running as straight news reporting or “explainers,” not opinion pieces.

Associated Press (“AP Explains: Election’s validity intact despite Trump claims“):

The U.S. presidential election was not tainted by widespread voter fraud or irregularities in how ballots were counted, despite a huge effort by President Donald Trump to prove otherwise.

In refusing to concede the election, Trump claims that he would have won were it not for “illegal” votes counted in several states that he lost or where he is currently trailing. But Trump and his allies haven’t offered any proof, and their legal challenges have largely been rejected by the courts.

Nonpartisan investigations of previous elections have found that voter fraud is exceedingly rare. State officials from both parties, as well as international observers, have also stated that the 2020 election went well.

The report then goes into detail about the allegations made by Trump and why they’re preposterous.

New York Times (“The Times Called Officials in Every State: No Evidence of Voter Fraud“):

Election officials in dozens of states representing both political parties said that there was no evidence that fraud or other irregularities played a role in the outcome of the presidential race, amounting to a forceful rebuke of President Trump’s portrait of a fraudulent election.

Over the last several days, the president, members of his administration, congressional Republicans and right wing allies have put forth the false claim that the election was stolen from Mr. Trump and have refused to accept results that showed Joseph R. Biden Jr. as the winner.

But top election officials across the country said in interviews and statements that the process had been a remarkable success despite record turnout and the complications of a dangerous pandemic.

“There’s a great human capacity for inventing things that aren’t true about elections,” said Frank LaRose, a Republican who serves as Ohio’s secretary of state. “The conspiracy theories and rumors and all those things run rampant. For some reason, elections breed that type of mythology.”

Steve Simon, a Democrat who is Minnesota’s secretary of state, said: “I don’t know of a single case where someone argued that a vote counted when it shouldn’t have or didn’t count when it should. There was no fraud.”

“Kansas did not experience any widespread, systematic issues with voter fraud, intimidation, irregularities or voting problems,” a spokeswoman for Scott Schwab, the Republican secretary of state in Kansas, said in an email Tuesday. “We are very pleased with how the election has gone up to this point.”

The New York Times contacted the offices of the top election officials in every state on Monday and Tuesday to ask whether they suspected or had evidence of illegal voting. Officials in 45 states responded directly to The Times. For four of the remaining states, The Times spoke to other statewide officials or found public comments from secretaries of state; none reported any major voting issues.

Washington Post (“Here are the GOP and Trump campaign’s allegations of election irregularities. So far, none has been proved.“):

Republicans have made claims of election irregularities in six states where President-elect Joe Biden leads in the vote count, alleging in lawsuits and public statements that election officials did not follow proper procedures while counting ballots in Tuesday’s election.

So far, they have gone 0 for 6.

Since Election Day, President Trump has repeatedly claimed that a broad conspiracy of misdeeds — apparently committed in both Republican and Democratic states — had cost him the election.

“WATCH FOR MASSIVE BALLOT COUNTING ABUSE,” Trump tweeted Tuesday, the latest in a series of missives in which he has made misleading claims about the vote. Trump’s campaign has encouraged donors to contribute to a legal-defense fund so he can fight the cases in court.

But in the lawsuits themselves, even Trump’s campaign and allies do not allege widespread fraud or an election-changing conspiracy.

Instead, GOP groups for the most part have focused on smaller-bore complaints in an effort to delay the counting of ballots or claims that would affect a small fraction of votes, at best.

And, even then, they have largely lost in court.

The reason: Judges have said the Republicans did not provide evidence to back up their assertions — just speculation, rumors or hearsay. Or in one case, hearsay written on a sticky note.

The result has been a flurry of filings that Trump has cited as a reason to avoid conceding defeat — but, so far, have done nothing to prevent the defeat itself.

The report then dives into specific cases and challenges.

Alas, the people who most need persuasion on this—again, 80 percent of the public already accepts Biden as the winner—are the ones least likely to read, much less trust, the mainstream (or is that “lamestream”?) media. Still, even Fox News is routinely referring to Biden as President-Elect.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2020, Media, US Politics
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Jen says:

    So, when are Republicans in Congress going to stop coddling the aggrieved character in the White House?

    There was no fraud; time to move on.

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  2. Sleeping Dog says:

    What is exceptional about this election is not the lack of fraud, but that given the circumstances, covid, political groups threatening armed intervention, postal service meltdown, that it has run so smoothly, despite a massive increase in participation and utilization of vote by mail.

    Election officials around the country should should be acknowledged for their efforts and professionalism.

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  3. Paine says:

    Laura Ingraham interviewed an anonymous Nevada poll worker (in full cloak and dagger mode: silhouette, voice altered, etc.) who claims to have seen a Biden-Harris van parked outside her station with people literally filling out ballots in broad daylight using the side of the van as a hard surface. It’s completely bonkers and you can see Ingraham grow increasingly incredulous as the interview went on.

    It’s unfortunate but a large chunk of this country is committed to believing this sort of nonsense and no amount of fact-checking, reaching out, or understanding will fix it.

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  4. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    With every passing day Trump proves what a loser he really is, and what losers his followers are.
    A business failure by almost any metric, Trump lost the popular vote in 2016 by 3M votes and barely eked out an Electoral College win. He is still an un-indicted co-conspirator in an election fraud case related to that election, for which his attorney served jail time.
    He claimed to be a war-time President but lost that war, as today we see record hospitalizations and watch 1,300 people die every day. Red states are setting up mobile morgues.
    And now he has lost his second election by over 4M votes.
    Trump leaves office as one of 4 Presidents to be held to one term, one of three Presidents to be Impeached, and the only Impeached President to receive a vote to remove from a member of his own party.
    LOSER. And his supporters are bigger losers.

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  5. CSK says:

    @Jen:
    You ask when the Republicans are going to stop coddling Trump. I don’t know, but it’s possible they believe that coddling him may prevent him from doing even greater harm than he already has. The havoc Trump could create if he believes he’s been abandoned by everyone is pretty horrific to imagine. We tend to forget how manically vindictive he is, and how much he delights in cruelty.

    And…they’re afraid of the Trumpkins, who are almost as vindictive as is their cult leader. These people will still be around after Trump goes.

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  6. Kathy says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:

    Look at the bright side: now they get to go through the weeks-long agony of proposing unlikely scenarios that could keep the Orange Turd in the White House. You know, like faithless electors and such.

    And then on January, they get to see Trump leave and Biden take over.

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  7. Michael Cain says:

    @CSK:

    but it’s possible they believe that coddling him may prevent him from doing even greater harm than he already has.

    I suspect this, if not now then soon. One of the mainstream media sources has already said Trump has “decapitated” the civilian leadership at DoD. I fear the same thing happening at other departments and/or agencies, so that even if McConnell isn’t blocking nominations wholesale, it will take months to establish new leadership.

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  8. Pylon says:

    Yesterday McEnany was on Fox brandishing a stack of paper she claimed were “260 pages of affidavits” (which tells you nothing about how many affidavits there were BTW).

    Also yesterday, someone posted on Twitter snippets of a bunch of affidavits which I think are the same. They are poorly written (some handwritten) and describe nothing of substance. People were mean to them, or they couldn’t stand closer than 6 feet, or police refused to allow more than the max watchers in. On was upset because an absentee ballot came in from out of state (roll eyes).

    I think its clear some of these came about from that stupid hotline they set up.

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  9. CSK says:

    @Michael Cain:
    Trump will do as much damage as he can, particularly if he can be convinced that he lost the election. I don’t know how you stop him, short of physically removing him from the Oval Office and incarcerating/institutionalizing him somewhere till the end of his term.

    The point is, he may grow even crazier and more vindictive if he’s not coddled.

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  10. mattbernius says:

    @Paine:

    Laura Ingraham interviewed an anonymous Nevada poll worker

    Also worth noting that I’m old enough to remember when Ingraham and others regularly objected to using anonymous sources as bad “journalism.” Of course, Ingraham isn’t a journalist.

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  11. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Jen: It’s not about fraud. It’s about setting the table for 4 years of dysfunction and political theater. It wouldn’t surprise me at all to hear Mitch or Lindsay or another one of those worthless wastes of communal oxygen announce the beginning of Senate hearings on election fraud that would go on for about… I’d guess 46 or 47 months, when the new Congress convenes.

    It’s certainly something that I would consider were I a Republican. Even Rush’s audience could become suspicious if the Senate does mostly nothing for 4 years.

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  12. Michael Cain says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    It wouldn’t surprise me at all to hear Mitch or Lindsay or another one of those worthless wastes of communal oxygen announce the beginning of Senate hearings on election fraud that would go on for about… I’d guess 46 or 47 months, when the new Congress convenes.

    Assuming that the first subject of attack will be vote by mail, I will be curious to see if McConnell or Graham are willing to throw some of their own caucus under the bus. Utah has a lengthy history of partial vote by mail and a shiny new 100% VBM system. Montana runs 75% or more VBM. Even Wyoming has 30% and increasing.

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  13. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: I’d guess 46 or 47 months, when the new Congress convenes

    A small correction of a brain fart: There is a new congress every 2 years.

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  14. JKB says:

    There Is No Fraud

    Well, that’s an outright lie. There is always voting fraud. And voting error. Every election, especially in many of the urban voting areas being challenged. More opportunities for fraud and error with the massive increase in mail-in voting.

    The only question is, was there enough voting fraud to alter the currently projected voting outcomes. Until the votes are canvassed and, some audited, we can’t say.

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  15. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I was only talking about the new Congress that will convene in 2021. The investigation won’t stop for the mid-term election, there’ll be mileage to be had accusing Congresscritters of trying to “whitewash voter fraud.”

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