Non-partisan surveys of previous elections have revealed that voter fraud is extremely rare. State officials from both sides, as well as international observers, also said the 2020 elections went well.
The New York Times spoke to election officials from 45 U.S. states representing both the Republican and Democratic parties and they all said there was no evidence of widespread fraud or irregularities.
“There is a great human capacity to make up things that are not true about elections,” Republican Secretary of State for Ohio Frank LaRose told The Times. “Conspiracy theories and rumors and all of those things are rampant. For some reason, elections spawn this type of mythology. ”
A look at the election and Trump’s allegations:
How many people voted this year?
More than 150 million people voted in the presidential election. As of Tuesday night, a week after the election, President-elect Joe Biden received about five million more votes than Trump.
Biden has 290 electoral college votes to 214. The Associated Press has yet to determine the winner in Alaska, Georgia or North Carolina. Georgia election results are too close to call.
“Mathematically, you actually have to do a full manual recount of everyone because the margin is so close,” Georgian Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said at a press conference on Wednesday. “We want to start this before the end of the week.”
Of the states Trump has most targeted as allegedly tainted with fraud, Biden has small but important leads in all of them. The Democrat leads in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
How did the election go?
Several states have successfully adopted voting measures during the coronavirus pandemic. California’s Democratic stronghold improved its postal voting system, for example, and went as planned for Biden. But Trump easily and reliably won Republican Nebraska, North Dakota, and Montana, all of which have also significantly expanded mail-in voting this year.
Almost 20 years after being at the center of a contested recount, Florida adopted early voting and allowed voters to vote by mail without having an excuse. The AP called Florida for Trump on Wednesday at 12:35 a.m.
The vote count has been slow in three Midwestern states that opted for Trump four years ago and returned to Biden this time: the “blue wall” of Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. This is due to an increase in postal ballots, which the Biden campaign has pushed its supporters to use as a security measure due to the pandemic. Trump has argued without merit that mail-in ballots are subject to fraud and encouraged his supporters to show up to vote in person on election day.
People will not accept this rigged election! https://t.co/XQAOIt5ZwU
– Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 11, 2020
As a result, Trump led all three states in voting on Election Day, but those leads were erased as the postal ballots were counted.
All three states largely ignored advice from non-partisan observers to widen the window for counting postal ballots before election day. Michigan gave election officials a day, and Pennsylvania and Wisconsin weren’t able to count ahead. All three states have Republican legislatures.
What does Trump dispute?
The Trump campaign has filed more than a dozen lawsuits in at least five states. On Tuesday evening, campaign officials said they would file a new lawsuit in Michigan, partly alleging their poll observers were harassed or turned away and asking the Secretary of State not to certify the results elections. Lawyer Mark “Thor” Hearne promised “overwhelming evidence” and loads of affidavits.
Poll observers have no role in the counting of votes.
In Pennsylvania, the campaign challenged the state Supreme Court’s ruling allowing election officials to accept mail-in ballots up to three days after the election, provided they were postmarked by the day of ballot. Trump also sued campaign observers who were allegedly barred from attending the Pennsylvania vote count. And he defied the secretary of state who ordered counties that voters whose postal ballots were rejected can vote provisionally.
Trump has won a victory so far: A state court ruled that his campaign observers should be allowed to come close to the actual vote count. This decision had no effect on the outcome of the race.
Four other lawsuits brought by the campaign were dismissed. Others are on hold.
On Monday, his campaign continued to force Pennsylvania not to fully certify the election results. The 85-page trial itself contained no evidence of electoral fraud, aside from a handful of allegations such as a Chester County election worker altering “over-voted” ballots by changing the votes that had been cast. marked for Trump to another candidate.
Top Democratic leaders in the state have accused Trump of trying to strip voters of their voting rights and overturn an election he lost.
What are Trump allies saying?
Trump’s lawyers and campaign staff say the election is not over and they are investigating allegations in several states, though they continue to lack evidence of widespread fraud affecting the race outcome. Leading Republicans have supported the president’s efforts to fight the election results in court.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Trump was “100% within his rights to review allegations of wrongdoing and weigh his legal options.” Attorney General William Barr has authorized the Department of Justice to investigate “clear and apparently credible allegations of irregularities.”
What happens next?
All settlement disputes in each state must be concluded by December 8. The members of the Electoral College vote on December 14. The US House and Senate hold a joint session on January 6, 2021 to count the electoral votes in each state.