The Times Called Officials in Every State: No Evidence of Voter Fraud

  

Category:  News & Politics

Via:  john-russell  •  2 weeks ago  •  22 comments

The Times Called Officials in Every State: No Evidence of Voter Fraud
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.

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T


PHILADELPHIA — 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.

Statewide officials in Texas did not respond to repeated inquiries. But a spokeswoman for the top elections official in Harris County, the largest county in Texas with a population greater than many states, said that there were only a few minor issues and that “we had a very seamless election.” On Tuesday, the Republican lieutenant governor in Texas, Dan Patrick, announced a $1 million fund to reward reports of voter fraud.

Some states described small problems common to all elections, which they said they were addressing: a few instances of illegal or double voting, some technical glitches and some minor errors in math. Officials in all states are conducting their own review of the voting — a standard component of the certification process.

Perhaps none of the Trump campaign’s claims received more attention than an allegation made over the weekend in Pennsylvania by Rudolph W. Giuliani, the president’s personal lawyer. On Saturday, Mr. Giuliani held a news conference in the parking lot of a Philadelphia landscaping company and claimed that the election in the city had been rife with fraud.

The office of the state’s top law enforcement official said that there was no evidence to support Mr. Giuliani’s claims, and that the election in the state was “fair and secure.”

“Many of the claims against the commonwealth have already been dismissed, and repeating these false attacks is reckless,” said Jacklin Rhoads, a spokeswoman for Josh Shapiro, a Democrat who is Pennsylvania’s attorney general. “No active lawsuit even alleges, and no evidence presented so far has shown, widespread problems.”

What emerged in The Times’s reporting was how, beyond the president, Republicans in many states were engaged in a widespread effort to delegitimize the nation’s voting system.

Some Republicans have even turned to lashing members of their own party who, in their eyes, did not show sufficient dedication to rooting out fraud. In Georgia, where Mr. Biden is leading, the two Republican senators, Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, both of whom are in a runoff to gain re-election, have called for the resignation of the Republican secretary of state, Brad Raffensperger. “The secretary of state has failed to deliver honest and transparent elections,” the senators said in a statement.

In Washington, the losing Republican candidate for governor, Loren Culp, has disputed the Republican secretary of state’s determination that the election there was free of fraud. The secretary of state, Kim Wyman, has in turn challenged Mr. Culp, trailing by roughly 14 percentage points in the results, to produce evidence. “It’s just throwing grass at the fence at this point,” she said in an interview. “See what sticks.”

Democrats have more frequently been the target of criticism. Last week, the Republican leadership of the Pennsylvania state legislature called on Kathy Boockvar, the Democratic secretary of state, to step down. In Wisconsin, the Republican speaker of the Assembly announced he would form committees to investigate voter fraud in the wake of Mr. Biden’s narrow victory in the state, though there is no evidence of any. Republican lawmakers in Michigan on Saturday voted to issue subpoenas for documents in search of “election irregularities.”

Indeed, Republicans in all three “blue wall” states have initiated “investigations” or called for audits — which is redundant given the certification work already underway. Democrats say this is simply a way to undermine confidence in the results.
On Monday, the Trump campaign accelerated their legal efforts, filing a lawsuit in the seven Pennsylvania counties where the president lost that claimed mail voting created an unfair, “two-tiered” system during the election — though the system is also in place in counties the president won. The campaign also announced plans to file another suit in Michigan.
The president has kept up a barrage of Twitter posts with false claims about improprieties in Nevada and Pennsylvania, predicting he’d prevail in Georgia, where he is behind, and said Wisconsin “needs a little time statutorily,” though he offered no explanation for what he meant.

Nellie Gorbea, the Democratic secretary of state in Rhode Island, said the amount of attention on the election would make illegal voting extremely difficult. “It would be nearly impossible to do voter fraud in this election because of the number of people tuned in,” she said.

Voting fraud in the United States is extremely rare. The irregularities that do occur are often inconsequential, isolated in nature, and unlikely to alter the outcome of an election. The most significant episode of election fraud over the past several years involved an alleged effort to manipulate ballots to benefit a Republican candidate for Congress in North Carolina, Mark Harris, in 2018. The scheme forced a new election and an operative who worked for Mr. Harris, L. McCrae Dowless, is under indictment. Mr. Harris was not charged with wrongdoing, and denied any role.

In the case of the 2020 election, Mr. Biden’s margins in the blue wall states of Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin are all in the tens of thousands. Even in Georgia, where Mr. Biden leads by more than 11,000 votes, it would be hard to uncover enough voting irregularities to change who won.

‘‘We have not seen any evidence of fraud or foul play in the actual administration of the election,’’ said Jake Rollow, a spokesman for Jocelyn Benson, the Democratic secretary of state in Michigan. “What we have seen is that it was smooth, transparent, secure and accurate.’’

Still, Mr. Trump has been fixated on voter fraud since 2016, when he falsely claimed that vote stealing had cost him the popular vote, which he lost by roughly 3 million. In the election’s aftermath, he formed a voting fraud commission that disbanded with no findings amid charges of secrecy, bias and overreach.

Mr. Trump’s attack on the election system this year has relied on either outright fabrication or gross exaggeration involving the sorts of small problems that typically come up in elections.

In Ohio, for instance, Mr. LaRose said that while it was not unusual to discover a handful of improprieties in a statewide election, systemic fraud has not happened.

“In the past, I’ve referred people to local prosecutors and the attorney general for noncitizens voting,” he said. “It’s like tens or dozens of people, not hundreds. There’s no acceptable level of voter fraud and we take every one of those cases seriously.”
The tension over voting has been most palpable in Georgia. The Trump campaign and the two Republican senators have complained about transparency, which Mr. Raffensperger, the secretary of state, called “laughable.”

“We were literally putting releases of results up at a minimum hourly,” he said in a statement. “I and my office have been holding daily or twice-daily briefings for the press to walk them through all the numbers. So that particular charge is laughable.”
He added that while there were likely small instances of fraud, he did not expect it to be significant enough to affect the outcome.

The absence of any major findings of fraud or irregularities, and the willingness of even Republican election officials to attest to smooth operations, have also undercut Mr. Trump’s legal efforts.

In Michigan, the Trump campaign has sued, saying that their poll watchers were not given access to properly observe ballot counting in Detroit. But election officials in the city deny that, saying there were dozens of poll watchers from both campaigns inside the main counting center there.

Last week, a judge denied a Trump campaign bid to halt counting based on complaints about observers, dismissing key evidence as “vague” and as “hearsay.”

The accusations of fraud from the president and his allies were noticeably absent from states where Mr. Trump and his fellow Republicans did well.

In South Carolina, for instance, the Republican incumbent, Senator Lindsey Graham, won relatively easily over Jaime Harrison, despite the fact that polls showed a tight race there. The South Carolina Election Board chairman John W. Wells said late Monday, “I have not heard of any” substantive allegations of fraud in the state, though he added he would await a final determination in the certification and protest process.

Asked if Mr. Graham was concerned about results in his state, a spokesman said the senator has “discussed states where the margins are close” but invited South Carolina voters to step forward with any “evidence of fraud or irregularities.”
Mr. Graham, a close ally of Mr. Trump, has taken up the president’s cause. He asked the Department of Justice to investigate claims made in an affidavit the Trump campaign shared with him from a Postal Service worker in Erie, Pa. The worker made allegations of impropriety at the local Postal branch based largely on a conversation he said he overheard.
Late Tuesday, the credibility of that affidavit came into question after the House Oversight Committee reported on Twitter that the worker recanted his story in disc

ussions with the Postal Service’s Office of Inspector General. The worker later denied he recanted in an online video.
One of the secretaries of state who did not respond to requests for comment about the election in his state was Corey Stapleton of Montana, an outgoing Republican. But Mr. Stapleton did post a message implicitly addressing the president’s ongoing fraud claims. “I have supported you, Mr. President,” he wrote. “@realDonaldTrump accomplished some incredible things during your time in office! But that time is now over! Tip your hat, bite your lip, and congratulate @JoeBiden.”

Michael Wines, Mike Baker, Giulia McDonnell Nieto del Rio and Will Wright contributed reporting.


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JohnRussell
1  seeder  JohnRussell    2 weeks ago

Maybe they need another protest across the street from the White House. Something needs to get through to Trump. 

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
1.1  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  JohnRussell @1    2 weeks ago

Maybe someone should shove a firecracker up his ass and light it.  As if it would make any difference.

 
 
 
TᵢG
2  TᵢG    2 weeks ago

Anyone who still believes Trump has a path to victory cannot be reasoned with.   Facts do not matter in this case.

 
 
 
Hal A. Lujah
2.1  Hal A. Lujah  replied to  TᵢG @2    2 weeks ago

Weak minds can be convinced of anything.  These are folks who were told that Hillary Clinton drinks the blood of children and accepted it without a second thought.

Should we really be surprised that this is possible when a central tenet of so many humans is a story so ridiculously unbelievable yet accepted without a second thought, and forced onto the most vulnerable minds of children before they even have the mental faculties to reason and think critically?  How many accept on faith a virgin birth, transubstantiation, the fatally flawed concepts of heaven and hell, etc etc etc?  As Christopher Hitchens famously claimed, religion poisons everything.  Trumpism is an extension of that sort of madness, and it should surprise nobody how much support Trump receives from the evangelical community.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
2.1.1  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  Hal A. Lujah @2.1    2 weeks ago

The president of the United States for the past four years is a conspiracy nut, and has been for many years, and yet tens of millions of Americans voted for him both times he ran. From an objective point of view that appears crazy.  Right wing media, over the course of the last few decades, has destroyed the ability of some conservatives to think straight when it comes to politics.

 
 
 
Just Jim NC TttH
2.1.2  Just Jim NC TttH  replied to  JohnRussell @2.1.1    2 weeks ago

So you are the arbiter of all things right and righteous? Objective viewpoint? Who do you know that has one of those? FFS John, you, and not only you, believed all the bullshit about Russia, Ukraine, emoluments, and the list goes on. And you want to talk about someone being all about conspiracies? LMMFAO. And it sure as HELL wasn't the right wing media that fed you that which you lapped up like a shelter dog. You aren't fooling anyone here, including the readers who aren't members or even signed in, as your position has been made perfectly clear. 

 
 
 
Hal A. Lujah
2.1.3  Hal A. Lujah  replied to  JohnRussell @2.1.1    2 weeks ago

I don’t disagree with that, and I’m aware that you are not going to be in agreement with my premise, but there is legitimate substance to what I am saying.  All religions make fantastic claims unsupported by evidence, with the expectation that the claims be accepted on faith alone.  How then do you stop someone from unscrupulously using that widespread basic human vulnerability to their advantage?  If they will believe in the most unreasonable religious concepts, they can be made to believe any meme that brings them fulfillment on faith alone.  All you need is a spokesperson with zero sense of ethics or empathy to deliver the message.  We’ve seen it for generations in the evangelical community, with sleazebag televangelists coaxing money away from those who have no money they can afford to lose - this is just the most naked political extension of such phenomena.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
2.1.4  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  Just Jim NC TttH @2.1.2    2 weeks ago

Trump is a conspiracy nut and I am not and your silly little mini rant has no bearing on that fact. 

 
 
 
JohnRussell
2.1.5  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  Hal A. Lujah @2.1.3    2 weeks ago

I don't think religion in itself leads to belief in conspiracy nonsense, but there may be some certain applications of religious belief that do. 

There have been brilliant , logical , rational people who have believed in God and even advocated for the belief. 

 
 
 
Just Jim NC TttH
2.1.6  Just Jim NC TttH  replied to  JohnRussell @2.1.4    2 weeks ago
Trump is a conspiracy nut and I am not

I think I debunked that already...............but whatever helps you through the day. Have a good one now.

 
 
 
Hal A. Lujah
2.1.7  Hal A. Lujah  replied to  JohnRussell @2.1.5    2 weeks ago

Consider that if Jesus returned today and exposed himself to a contingent of humanity, proving himself with whatever mystical acts would be consistent with his “history” - it wouldn’t matter how many were witness to the event, these people would be mercilessly attacked as promoters of conspiracy by both believers and nonbelievers alike.  The historical messages of the Jesus figure are clearly contrary to the beliefs of so many of his modern day adherents.  That is how religion poisons everything.  

 
 
 
JohnRussell
2.1.8  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  Just Jim NC TttH @2.1.6    2 weeks ago

Donald Trump's asking Russia to hack Hillary Clinton's emails more than served as a justifiable predicate to investigate his campaign in the second half of 2016. Beyond that, the Mueller report concluded that the Trump campaign welcomed Russian interference. These was no "conspiracy" to unjustly investigate Trump. 

 
 
 
MUVA
2.1.9  MUVA  replied to  JohnRussell @2.1.8    2 weeks ago

No it didn't stop spreading that CNN BS there was no evidence and there remains no evidence that Trump conspired with the Russias. 

 
 
 
Just Jim NC TttH
2.1.10  Just Jim NC TttH  replied to  JohnRussell @2.1.8    2 weeks ago
Donald Trump's asking Russia to hack Hillary Clinton's emails

That BS again? Or this one.........

These was no "conspiracy" to unjustly investigate Trump.  

Allow me to put this right here. Not sure who wrote it but it damned well serves up the situation as it was..........................

"DEAR MR.BIDEN

During your presidential acceptance speech, you were calling for the unity of Trump supporters.   I remember four years ago President Trump also called for unity.  I remember how Congressional members of your Democratic Party responded by boycotting his inauguration.

I remember how you and your Democratic party cheated and used the greatest law enforcement institution of this country to spy on President Trumps campaign.   I remember how you and your Democratic Party created a fake Russian dossier to try and impeach President Trump.   

I remember how your speaker of the house ripped up President Trump’s beautiful State of the Union speech on National TV.    

I remember how you, your Democratic Party, and the complicit media tried to impeach President Trump over a Ukraine phone call.   You accused President Trump of pay to play.  Come to find out Joe, likely it was really you and your son Hunter.   

I remember how you, your Democratic Party, and the complicit media blamed President Trump over a pandemic that he had nothing to do with starting.   

I remember how you and your Democratic Party encouraged rioting and looting of my great United States of America.

I remember how you and your Democratic Party used the complicit media to spread lie after lie about President Trump.

I remember how you, the Democrat party, and the complicit media conducted a 4 year long coup to remove a duly elected president of the USA.

I remember how you, your Democratic Party, and the complicit media conspired to steal the election from President Trump and the people of the USA.

This Trump supporter and American remembers all that Joe, and will NOT be unifying with your Democratic Party and their disasterious direction for the USA.  This Trump supporter and American will be giving you the same respect you gave President Trump - ZERO."

While I will support the US and the office of the Presidency, I will not stand by for this kind of crap surrounding the last 4+ years.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
2.1.11  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  Just Jim NC TttH @2.1.10    2 weeks ago

Here's a thought, fuck Donald Trump, the worst president in the 240 year history of the United States. 

Responses like that letter to "dear Biden"   are good evidence of just why we should not placate Trump supporters. They double and triple down on all sorts of nonsense, but the worst is the contention that Trump has been treated unfairly. 

Trump was NEVER fit to hold public office. NEVER.  The blame goes to those who voted for him, both in 2016 and 2020. 

 
 
 
Just Jim NC TttH
2.1.12  Just Jim NC TttH  replied to  JohnRussell @2.1.11    2 weeks ago

What nonsense John? NOT asking for a friend. And if you don't think he was treated unfairly, you are part of the problem. NOT the solution.

And he is far from the worst. If some folks would look past the MSM, there is a plethora of good that Mr. Trump has bestowed upon this great nation of ours. 

Suck it up buttercup and realize that you, for all intents and purposes, fucking won the election. What lies ahead remains to be seen but let's watch shall we?

Sit back, relax and revel in what you perceive to be a victory and keep an..........oh wait, for once open up your mind.

I thank you. The members thank you. And the window lickers, who wouldn't touch this place with a ten foot pole as long as this is going to be the subject going forward, just as we have seen in the past few years, they don't show up.

Have a great day. This quote from days of old rings true........................

"Life is good. Enjoy. And if you are a lefty liberal, do yourself and others a favor and try not to be so miserable."

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
2.2  Bob Nelson  replied to  TᵢG @2    2 weeks ago

Anyone who does not believe that Trump has a credible path to permanent power is playing ostrich.

 
 
 
TᵢG
2.2.1  TᵢG  replied to  Bob Nelson @2.2    2 weeks ago

What do you mean by 'permanent power'?   My comment @2 was about winning the presidency in 2020;  he has no credible path to that end.   Thus I do not understand what you mean.

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
2.2.2  Bob Nelson  replied to  TᵢG @2.2.1    2 weeks ago

You're talking about winning legally. I'm talking about winning by whatever means. 

 
 
 
Kavika
3  Kavika     2 weeks ago

Sadly, Trump and this administration are determined to make the transfer of power as ugly as possible. 

 
 
 
JohnRussell
4  seeder  JohnRussell    2 weeks ago
Indeed, Republicans in all three “blue wall” states have initiated “investigations” or called for audits — which is redundant given the certification work already underway. Democrats say this is simply a way to undermine confidence in the results.

On Monday, the Trump campaign accelerated their legal efforts, filing a lawsuit in the seven Pennsylvania counties where the president lost that claimed mail voting created an unfair, “two-tiered” system during the election — though the system is also in place in counties the president won. The campaign also announced plans to file another suit in Michigan.


The president has kept up a barrage of Twitter posts with false claims about improprieties in Nevada and Pennsylvania, predicting he’d prevail in Georgia, where he is behind, and said Wisconsin “needs a little time statutorily,” though he offered no explanation for what he meant.
 
 
 
Bob Nelson
5  Bob Nelson    2 weeks ago

There have been many serious studies of electoral fraud in America. The primary conclusion, in every case, has been that electoral fraud is vanishingly rare. Most of those rare cases have been Republican.

Anyone who seriously follow current events in America knows this... or alternatively refuses to recognize it.

 
 
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