President Trump’s unsubstantiated and desperate allegations of a stolen election in the past seven weeks – the most aggressive promotion of “election fraud” in American history – failed in court in seven states, or nearly reversed the loss suffered. Biden Jr.
But the effort has produced at least one unexpected and entirely different result: a thorough exposure of the kind of electoral fraud alleged Republicans used to roll back voting for most of the young century.
Mr Trump and his allies have tried a number of tropes and canards similar to Republicans to justify laws that in many cases made voting disproportionately difficult for blacks and Hispanics, which Democrats largely support.
Their claims that thousands of people “double-voted” by adopting different identities at polling stations were in line with those previously cited as a reason for introducing tough new voter identification laws.
Their claim that large numbers of non-citizens cast illegal votes for Mr. Biden coincided with claims Republicans have made to advocate for stringent new “proof of citizenship” requirements for voter registration.
And their stories of large numbers of scammers voting on behalf of “dead voters” were similar to those that several states have behaved aggressively with “Purges” of voting lists that have wrongly scheduled tens of thousands of registrations to be canceled.
After around 60 lawsuits and even victims financially As an incentive for information about fraud, Mr. Trump and his allies have not definitively proven a case of illegal voting on their opponent’s behalf in court – not a single case of an undocumented immigrant casting a ballot, no citizen double vote, or credible evidence that legions of the voting dead gave Mr Biden a victory that was not his.
“It really should put a death knell on this narrative, which deals with allegations of electoral fraud that just never got backed up,” said Kristen Clarke, president of the National Civil Rights Advisory Board, a nonprofit legal group and a former Justice Department attorney who worked on it Voting cases included. “You brought yourself to justice and failed.”
However, there is no sign that these court defeats will change the course of ongoing voting curtailment efforts, which have been central to conservative politics since the controversial 2000 elections. This coincided with the party’s growing concern that demographic change would favor Democrats in the population vote.
The misconceptions have lived on in Mr. Trump’s Twitter and Facebook feeds. on television programming for Fox News, Newsmax, and One America News Network; and in State House hearings where Republican leaders considered more restrictive electoral laws based on the denied allegations.
In Georgia, Republican lawmakers have already discussed tightening state regulations Vote by email and further Voter identification. In Pennsylvania, Republican lawmakers are considering reversing steps that made it easier to vote absent, and their counterparts in Wisconsin are also considering stricter restrictions on postal voting as well as on early voting.
If anything, President Trump has given new impetus to the movement to restrict access to ballot papers while becoming the unique, charismatic leader he never had.
After the explanation downright That high numbers of votes are bad for Republicans, he convinced his base that the electoral system is rotten by fraud and to regard this fiction as the fundamental principle of the party. Several newer ones Survey showed that the majority of Republicans think the elections are fraudulent, even though election officials across the country report that they came as a surprise Smoothly even in a pandemic, with exceptionally high voter turnout and no signs of fraud, aside from the usual smashing of bad actors or mistakes by well-intentioned voters.
A streak of bad luck of 59 out of 60 cases
In the past month and a half of court rulings, allegations of election fraud have been consistently dismissed as insufficient or credible, often by Republican-appointed judges.
Mr Trump and his allies have argued that the 59 losses they have suffered in 60 lawsuits filed since Election Day were based on procedural decisions and complained that the judges refused to examine the details of the allegations they were making they tried to overthrow an election. Mr Biden won with 7 million votes (and with 74 on the electoral college).
However, according to an analysis by the New York Times, in more than two-thirds of their cases they have not even officially alleged fraud, instead arguing that local officials have deviated from electoral codes, improperly administered elections, or disregarded election day rules were themselves illegal.
In the isolated case where Mr Trump won, his campaign challenged a state-mandated extension of the deadline in Pennsylvania for providing ID for mailed ballots, which affected a low number of votes.
In nearly a dozen cases, their fraud allegations actually had their days in court and kept breaking down under scrutiny.
Despite the final nature of these decisions, the Republicans’ response has been to cling to the president’s fraudulent fictions.
Republicans in Congress have also promoted them as Mr Trump urges Senators and House members to reject the election college results in an alleged procedural vote to confirm Mr Biden’s clear victory over the president on Jan. 6.
For example, in a Senate hearing on December 16, Oklahoma Senator James Lankford reiterated a series of allegations made by the Trump campaign about illegal elections in Nevada.
“42,000 people in Nevada voted more than once according to your work,” Lankford said while interviewing a Trump campaign lawyer, Jesse Binnall. Mr Lankford reiterated Trump’s campaign claims that significant numbers of dead, non-state residents and non-citizens in Nevada cast illegal ballots. The campaign had based these allegations on analysis that matched voting lists with records from commercial and government sources.
However, the trial judge in the Nevada case had dismissed the lawsuit almost two weeks earlier and dismissed these analyzes as inconclusive and unconvincing. He said the campaign had “failed to prove under any standard of evidence that illegal votes were cast and counted.”
Such a so-called “list matching”, which states rely on to reduce their list of invalid voters, requires careful work by longstanding experts. It’s easy to do badly. It was poorly designed or poorly performed data analysis that led to this Georgia and Texas move lately to eradicate tens of thousands of valid registrations wrongly, Reverse course only after constituencies and others pointed out the mistakes.
This pattern continued through this year’s spate of pro-Trump lawsuits.
For example, in spreading their cases across the country, Republicans have cited data analysis by a cybersecurity manager and a one-time Texan congressional candidate named Russell J. Ramsland Jr. One of his reports claims that various Michigan counties had voting numbers in excess of their population, meaning their total was padded with illegal ballot papers; It turned out that the counties in question were in Minnesota, not Michigan.
Likewise, several specific allegations that people illegally cast ballots on behalf of the dead were born from amateur data analysis that was later found to be flawed.
In a federal case where the Trump campaign aimed to delay certification of results in Michigan, the specific mention of a ballot slip cast by a dead voter was incorrect: registering the dead person did not cast a vote. ratherA man with the exact same name was voting legally. (Mr. Trump’s team pulled this case off the record as Michigan neared certification.)
This is a common problem with allegations of “dead voters”, “double voters” and “out-of-state” voters. Blind comparisons of official data often result in false positives, in which two people with the same name are treated as the same person.
In Georgia, foreign minister’s lawyers are trying to get the court to reject an “expert” analysis which found that Mr Biden’s winning result contained more than 10,000 ballots from dead citizens. The state expert in this case, the M.I.T. Political scientist Charles Stewart III, concluded that the Trump campaign only seemed to “identify the unremarkable fact that some Georgians who voted share the name and year of birth of another person who has died,” as prosecutors put it. In several other cases, the “dead voters” on whose behalf the Trump campaign said ballots were cast turned out to be very much alive.
Last week, Pennsylvania authorities made an arrest on an allegation the Trump campaign first made in November. Delaware County Prosecutor’s Office said a man named Bruce Bartman cast a postal vote on behalf of his late mother – for Mr. Trump. Mr. Bartman’s attorney said Mr. Bartman did this as a misguided “form of protest,” and the local prosecutor did said It was nothing more than “evidence that a person committed election fraud”.
A complaint “without plausible allegations”
Mr Trump and his allies have also attacked election officials themselves. In a new twist on the electoral fraud mythology, they have claimed that officials have either participated or are willing to participate in fantastic fraud programs. In several states, such allegations have been unceremoniously rejected by judges.
In Arizona, Republicans filed a federal lawsuit claiming that both election workers and Democratic officials overseeing the elections could have “maintained” any number of fraudulent activities. Judge Diane J. Humetewa, a judge appointed by former President Barack Obama, dismissed the lawsuit, saying that “these allegations do not meet the standards for fraud allegations.”
In Michigan, Judge Timothy M. Kenny, a state judge, was asked to consider the allegation that election officials “coached” people to vote – an allegation the judge said upon dismissal made without a location, date, or other relevant statement became details.
Few Trump-era fraud allegations have caught on as well in conservative media as those that incorporate computerized voting systems that allegedly “convert” Trump votes to Biden votes.
One of the wildest of these allegations was the allegation that officials in at least four states used Dominion Voting Systems’ ballots to cast hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of Mr Trump’s votes to Mr Biden.
This unlikely conspiracy was aired at its most detailed in four lawsuits brought by Sidney Powell, a former Trump campaign attorney.
Her personal record is similar to that of any other failed Republican election fraud lawsuit. Despite refutation by judges and electoral officials across the country, her narrative has been repeated over and over in the right-wing media to ensure that the notion of widespread fraud continues to gain ground.
A judge in Phoenix called Ms. Powell’s complaint “without plausible allegations”. A Michigan judge wrote that Ms. Powell’s belief that voting machines altered election results was “an amalgamation of theories, conjectures and speculations.”
The most thorough exposure of Ms. Powell’s conspiracies came last week in a blistering letter from Dominion confirming the integrity of its machines, which has been verified through independent audits. The company asked her to withdraw her statements and accused her of embarking on a “ruthless disinformation campaign”.
Dominion said it was also considering legal action against Rudolph W. Giuliani, who led Mr Trump’s legal efforts after the election, and several prominent conservative media representatives.
As she continues to advance her cheating myth at the national level, Ms. Powell has her arguments before the Supreme Courtwhile maintaining close contact with Mr. Trump and meeting personally in the White House.
The city of Detroit is seeking sanctions against Ms. Powell and the Michigan Attorney General Dana nettle says she is considering doing the same because of “willful misrepresentation” in Ms. Powell’s legal filing.
Despite all of this, the plot lives on, even on Christmas Eve when Mr. Trump took the time to write on Twitter: “VOTER FRAUD IS NOT A PROMISE THEORY.”