- A Personal Note
- 2020 Election Myth: Stastical Improbabilities
- 2020 Election Myth: Tainted Ballots
- 2020 Election Myth: Rigged Voting Machines
- 2020 Election Myths Rehashed: Texas Lawsuit
- 2020 Election Myth: Big Tech Censorship
- So What?
- Excerpts from Judges’ Rulings about 2020 Election Myths
Every US election comes with controversy, but 2020 election myths dwarf anything ever seen in United States history. I want this blog post handy for future elections, when diehard Trump fans scream yet again the 2020 election was rigged. When people rehash 2020 election myths, use this blog post as a source of facts.
In the wee hours of Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020, President Trump went on national TV to claim the US election was rigged. He claimed COVID-inspired absentee ballots and a cadre of corruption from Mexico to Maine combined to deliver Biden a false victory. He tweeted about it day and night through the rest of November, and up to and after I started writing this post on Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2020, the day after the electoral college officially cast its votes. He will probably keep tweeting about it all the way to the 2024 election.
The final 2020 popular vote: Biden won 81,281,502 votes. Trump won 74,222,593 votes. Key swing states included Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. Trump contested the vote counts in all these states. He lost more than fifty lawsuits in state and federal courts across the country, including the US Supreme Court. He won one lawsuit in Pennsylvania that had no material effect on the vote count.
Here is a link to Democracy Docket, which tracks election lawsuits and (I hope) will keep a permanent archive of all the filings and responses.
The next milestone is Jan. 6, 2021, when a joint session of Congress officially counts the votes.
A Personal Note
I am a Christian because evidence led me to accept Jesus Christ as my lord and savior. From childhood, through puberty, and into adulthood, many people challenged me to not ignore overwhelming evidence in front my own eyes. Sometimes they made me mad because they also challenged my view of the world. I looked at their evidence, and that left me with a choice. I could either ignore overwhelming evidence and keep my view of the world, or I could accept the evidence and change my long-held beliefs. It was a blow to my cognitive dissonance. It wasn’t easy.
One day I’ll write more memoir blog posts about that evidence and me.
But today, let’s follow the election 2020 evidence where it leads. Whether anyone likes Biden or Trump is irrelevant. What is relevant is, who really won the 2020 presidential election. The overwhelming body of evidence, challenged like no other election in American history, says Biden won. Here is some of it.
2020 Election Myth: Statistical Improbabilities
Many of the 2020 election myths flow from this one. The argument is, the odds of a Biden come-from-behind vote count victory in several swing states are around one in a quadrillion, or so close to zero that it could not possibly have happened in the real world. With the odds effectively zero, somebody must have tampered with the vote count. Dr. Charles Cicchetti, apparently a donor to the Trump campaign, seems to be the most vocal proponent of this theory. I was unable to find a reference showing how he came up with his number. The Texas lawsuit used his claim.
His argument is flawed because it assumes all the vote count reports came from the same population. But the vote counts came from different populations. The vote counts early on election night came from in-person voting. But COVID-19 forced more people to use absentee ballots than any time in history, and large urban areas more favorable to Biden took longer to report their results because counting absentee ballots takes more time than counting in-person ballots.
Statisticians and other academics universally debunked Cicchetti’s reasoning. This one from David Post might be the best. He called it nonsense. Post is right. The statistical improbability argument is nonsense.
But anecdotal stories still feel implausible. Daniel, from Charlotte, NC. observed:
I live in an EXTREMELY liberal urban metro, I see the political culture in my city seemingly is 100% democrat. I was a registered democrat before this election. Mechlenburg County weighed in at 66/33 for Joe B. Wayne county is almost exactly the same as Mechlenburg county. My liberal Charlotte county has 498,778 republican and democrat absentee ballots cast. Majority went to Biden, 54%. 46% went to trump. This is where my inner moron gets confused. Two counties with almost exactly the same vote ratios for Biden (makes sense) have VERY different mail in voting numbers (doesn’t make sense). 93/7 vs our 54/46.
Only two possibilities exist. Either somebody tampered with the vote count, or the count is accurate. But if somebody tampered with the count in the counties near Charlotte, NC and across the country, then they would have had to pull off a secret conspiracy larger and more complex than the WWII Manhattan Project. I wonder what odds statisticians would calculate for this scenario.
Or the straightforward explanation – the vote counts are accurate. If so, then why? One possibility: In President Trump’s own recorded words, summarized in this September, 2020 60 Minutes interview with Bob Woodward, Trump admitted he downplayed COVID in public when he knew how deadly it really is. In the same 60 Minutes interview, and in his book, Rage, Woodward said Trump told him Trump brought out rage in people. And, so, with COVID killing people across the country while Trump called it just another flu, perhaps mail-in voters expressed that rage with their votes.
My conservative friend, Marc voted against Trump for poor COVID leadership. I think millions of mail-in voters did too. If I find any polls or other credible research confirming or denying my reasoning, I’ll either edit this blog post or write a new one and reference it here. Follow the evidence where it leads.
Another variation of this argument says Biden could not have possibly won because he was more popular in several districts in 2020 than Clinton in 2016. And since Republicans did well in the House and Senate in 2020, nobody would have voted a split ticket, with Biden for President and Republicans for other offices. Marc represents why this theory is hogwash. Marc voted for Biden for president, but Republicans for other offices because Marc was not satisfied with Trump’s performance in office. Apparently, despite Trump claims to the contrary, millions of other Americans felt the same way.
2020 Election Myth: Tainted Ballots
In this 2020 election myth, the Trump team claimed millions of absentee ballots across the United States were illegal. USPS employees loaded thousands of fake Biden ballots into trucks, destroyed or lost Trump ballots, backdated postmarks, and mishandled millions of other ballots. Lots of dead people, born Jan. 1, 1901, also voted. Lots of other people voted more than once because election workers across the country failed to validate signatures or follow any other process to ensure the integrity of absentee votes, especially in areas favorable to Biden.
The Trump team offered as evidence a Project Veritas interview with Richard Hopkins, a Pennsylvania postal worker who claimed his supervisor instructed him to backdate ballots. Hopkins recanted his story a few days later. Here is a Business Insider article with more. Here is a Washington Post article documenting how Hopkins recanted. In case the link goes bad, Here is a PDF.
Here is a story about 75-year-old Donna Brydges, one of the so-called dead voters in Michigan. It turns out that many software packages use Jan.1, 1901 is a placeholder date. Election workers really did make isolated data entry errors around some peoples’ birthdays. They corrected the mistakes, but not before conspiracy theories about dead people voting flew across the internet like a tidal wave for eager Trump troopers to drink.
The Trump team also offered the Ramsland affidavit about tainted voting in Michigan. Here is the Federal Court filing. Ramsland says he lives in Texas. This detail is important. He claimed that more people voted in several Michigan townships than registered voters. Unfortunately, the Michigan townships Ramsland listed are in Minnesota (MN) and not Michigan (MI), and nobody could verify his numbers. This conservative Powerline blog post takes Ramsland and the Trump team to task for sloppiness. So do fact-checkers across the internet. Unfortunately, once Ramsland unleashed his affidavit, his conspiracy theory traveled farther and faster than the facts that debunked it. The Trump team even used this nonsense in one of the lawsuits. The Trump team lost the lawsuit, but millions of Trump troopers soldiered on.
2020 Election Myth: Rigged Voting Machines
This might be my favorite 2020 election myth. Attorney Sidney Powell, who represented jailed US National Security Advisor, Michael Flynn, came up with this one. Quoting myself in an earlier blog post summarizing Powell’s original claim:
In 2006 or so, Venezuelan dictator, Hugo Chavez wanted a voting machine where his crew could change votes in such a way that it would be undetectable. Dominion Voting Systems and Smartmatic software took care of it for him. Today, a web of people with ties to Chavez and high-level Democrats own this shadowy organization, and they conspired to use the same software to suppress the will of the American people. Trump really won by a landslide, but overseas vote-counting and Venezuelan software with more back doors than a government-sponsored encryption algorithm stole the election for Biden.From https://www.dgregscott.com/a-tall-tale-about-how-venezuelan-voting-machines-stole-the-2020-election/
Powell’s conspiracy theory had problems right from the beginning. One biggie–Smartmatic and Dominion are competitors. Dominion voting machines are in 28 states, but Smartmatic is only in Los Angeles County, California. Smartmatic software does not run on Dominion voting machines. See the links in this earlier blog post for details.
After Powell’s appearance at the Nov. 19, 2020 press conference with Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Guiliani and senior legal advisor, Jenna Ellis, Powell’s story changed. At a Dec. 2, 2020 rally in Georgia with attorney Lin Wood, she claimed somebody in Spain or Mexico counted American votes, Democrats flew planeloads of ballots into the United States from Mexico, and somebody flew a planeload of ballots from New York into Pennsylvania. She also said the Chinese own 75 percent of Dominion Voting Systems and the Chinese paid the Republican Georgia governor and Secretary of State to look the other way in the wake of massive voter fraud. I had plenty to say about this claim in another earlier blog post.
Powell cited an anonymous military intelligence expert, code named Spyder, for her source of technology information. That “expert” turned out to be Joshua Merritt, who apparently did enroll in an entry-level Army intelligence course in 2003 or 2004. He never completed it and spent seven months as a trainee, more than fifteen years ago. Here is the Washington Post article from Dec. 11, 2020 with details, including this quote from Merritt himself. “This is not the 15 minutes I wanted.” In case the article link goes bad, here is a PDF.
Here is Powell’s website, where she solicits donations and lists election lawsuits she filed in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, and Wisconsin. She lost all of them.
The election fraud fun started in Arizona shortly after the polls closed on election night with accusations that sharpie markers invalidated ballots. Like all good conspiracy theories, it spread across the internet, and within a few hours, Trump troopers parroted it across their favorite cable news channels. Election officials sent out videos and responses, but these went nowhere. It turned out, Arizona really did use sharpie markers with its ballots because they were the best marker, and the scanners worked just fine with them. Here is a Politico article with details.
The 2020 election myths continued in Arizona. Rudy Giuliani claimed a few hundred thousand illegal aliens out of five million illegal aliens in Arizona voted. The problem is, Arizona’s population is 7.2 million, and so Giuliani’s numbers suggest five out of every seven Arizona residents are illegal aliens. Which is hogwash. Pew Research estimates about 275,000 illegal aliens in Arizona. Other Trump team accusations were just as flimsy. Here is an Arizona Republic opinion piece with details.
Trump supporters filed several election lawsuits in Arizona. The most recent came from somebody not registered to vote. Judges threw them all out, including at least one in the Arizona Supreme Court. More in this Arizona Republic article.
Here is a summary of Arizona 2020 election court challenges, including PDFs of all filings and responses.
Georgia was the last state to finalize its 2020 presidential vote tally. Biden eventually won by around 12,000 votes in another come-from-behind vote counting victory. Georgia eventually performed three recounts.
Both US Senate seats were also on the 2020 ballot, and since no candidate beat fifty percent, Georgia law says it must run a special election on Jan. 5, 2021. The two Georgia US Senate seats will decide who controls the overall US Senate for the next two years. The stakes could not be higher and fraud accusations continue to fly fast and furious.
The biggest 2020 election myth in Georgia was a short surveillance video suggesting election officials counted 24,000 ballots hidden in four suitcases under a table with no observers after sending poll watchers home for the night. This local TV News story summarizes it. Unfortunately, that short video snippet was taken out of context. Here is a National Review story with a broader picture, including a statement from a reporter who was there. Quoting the National Review story:
As far as I understand, what happens in the snippet that’s gotten so much attention is that the ballot counters thought they were shutting down for the night, began to put stuff away, and then when told to keep working, pulled everything back out, including the crates from under the table. (I’m fuzzy on this, but by some accounts the crates had already been emptied of ballots when the Republican observers were still there.)From https://www.nationalreview.com/corner/about-the-suitcase-video/
The key thing, though, is that, again, the entire day is on tape and has been reviewed by state officials. The ballot crates were already there in the morning and accounted for when observers were in the room. Nothing that happens during the period in question is different from what you’d expect during routine counting.
Here is a statement from a Georgia election official about what happened at State Farm Arena on election day and night in Georgia, including context around the suitcase video and the infamous water leak.
The misleading suitcase video went viral and outrage exploded, fueled by the Trump team. The more accurate context never had a chance. Even now, as I write this blog post more than two weeks later, despite overwhelming contrary evidence, Trump troopers still trot it out as evidence of Georgia fraud, and Trump supporters across the country still believe it.
This came with consequences.
At this rally, Sidney Powell and Lin Wood accused Georgia’s Republican Secretary of State, Brad Raffensperger and Georgia Governor, Brian Kemp, of taking bribes from the Chinese.
Trump called Raffensperger an enemy of the people after Raffensperger said he found no evidence of fraud. Trump retweeted a call to send Governor Kemp to jail after Kemp also said the election was clean. Somebody made death threats against election officials and contractors.
All over baseless allegations that could not stand up to scrutiny. Here is a Wikipedia summary of Georgia election lawsuits.
Here is a summary of Georgia 2020 election court challenges, including PDFs of all filings and responses.
Michigan Trump troopers accused election officials of shutting out Republican poll watchers at the TCF Center in Detroit in the hours following election night Tuesday. And when Republicans protested, crooked election officials pasted cardboard to the windows and locked the doors so nobody could see inside while they did their dirty work. In typical fashion, sensational accusations and video clips flew across the internet.
The professionals and reporters who were there tell a different story. As the vote counting wore on and election workers started counting absentee ballots from Detroit favoring Biden, Michigan Republican Chair, Laura Cox saw that Biden was overtaking Trump. She called other GOP leaders, who called more people, and on Wednesday afternoon, they flooded TCF Center. Protesters disrupted the vote counting and that’s when election officials tossed them out. Viral video snippets showed Republicans protesting outside. But videos showing Republican and Democratic poll watchers, ACLU members, reporters, and election workers still in the room, quietly doing their jobs never went viral.
A clerical error in Antrim County threw gasoline on the fire when County Clerk Sheryl Guy updated the voting machine configuration for one precinct in her county, but forgot to update the other precincts. She went home around 5 AM Wednesday, tired after a long overnight counting ballots with her staff. A few hours later, reports came in that Biden won the county by a large margin. Which seemed unlikely because this was a long-time Republican county. Guy found and fixed the error, but not before viral claims about leftist crooks activating Chinese hacks to Venezuelan software in Dominion voting machines swept the country. The mundane truth didn’t have a chance after that. Read about what really happened in this in-depth article from Michigan Radio. In case the link goes bad, here is a PDF.
After the Antrim County madness went viral, Russell Ramsland’s company, ASOG, made its way into Michigan. Ramsland produced a flawed forensic report claiming the voting machines were corrupted. Ramsland’s claims triggered sensational reports like this one across the country. Dominion Voting Systems responded. So did several fact checkers.
Ryan Macias, former acting director of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission’s Voting System Testing and Certification Program, wrote a detailed report evaluating the Ramsland ASOG claims. A central Ramsland claim said somebody deleted adjudication logs inside the machines, violating state law. But Ramsland failed to note that Antrim County does manual ballot adjudication. The “missing logs” would never have existed because the machines did not perform that function. Instead, people did. Manually. The audit information was on paper, not inside the machines. One flawed Ramsland claim of many.
The Ramsland claims went viral. The more mundane truth did not.
After the vote-counting, multiple failed lawsuits, and rallies filled with armed protesters, Aaron Van Langevelde was all that stood in the way of anarchy. Van Langevelde and Norman D. Shinkle are Republicans members of the Michigan Board of State Canvassers. Two Democrats are also on the board. When the time came for Michigan to certify its election, Van Langevelde quietly did his job when he cast the deciding vote to certify the election. Shinkle abstained. Van Langevelde signaled his intentions when he said:
We must not attempt to exercise power we simply don’t have. As John Adams once said, ‘We are a government of laws, not men.’ This board needs to adhere to that principle here today. This board must do its part to uphold the rule of law and comply with our legal duty to certify this election.Aaron Van Langevelde, Nov. 23, 2020, Michigan Board of State Canvassers Certification meeting, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lytepDbGK5E, around the 3 hour, 10 minute mark in the video.
Trump troopers complain about chaos in Michigan, but Republican legislators set it all in motion by not allowing vote counting to start until 7 AM on election Tuesday. This guaranteed vote counting would spill into the next days and led to the chaos that followed.
Here is a summary of Michigan 2020 election court challenges, including PDFs of all filings and responses.
The Trump team hurled the usual vote fraud charges in Nevada. Dead people voted. Out-of-state people voted. Thousands voted more than once. Somebody tampered with Dominion voting machines. They all had their days in court. They all lost. Here is a TV report that details the allegations and outcomes. Here is a summary of all the Nevada litigation, with PDFs of the court filings and responses.
On Oct. 31, 2019, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf signed Act 77, placing no-excuse absentee voting into state law. Nobody could have predicted the COVID-19 global pandemic coming a few months later. Everyone should have predicted the Trump-trooper challenges coming after the 2020 presidential election. The Trump legal team started preparing Pennsylvania court challenges months ahead of the election.
With twenty electoral votes, every path for a Trump victory depended on winning Pennsylvania. Trump won in 2016. But in another come-from-behind absentee ballot counting victory, Biden won in 2020, 3,458,229 to 3,377,674, a margin of roughly 80,000 votes.
For any hope of victory, Trump needed to get rid of that Biden victory margin in Pennsylvania. His team flailed and ultimately failed.
In the infamous Nov. 8 Philadelphia press conference in the Four Seasons Total Landscaping back parking lot, Rudy Giuliani hurled what would become the usual vote fraud charges. But his star performer that day was Daryl Brooks, a convicted New Jersey sex offender who claimed he had been framed. The Trump legal team quit after that, leaving Giuliani and Jenna Ellis in charge of a new Keystone Kops legal dream-team.
Unfazed by the international ridicule, Trump troopers soldiered on. They filed a lawsuit challenging Act 77, the no-excuse absentee voting act, claiming it violated the Pennsylvania constitution. They also objected to election officials curing absentee ballots. Election officials cure ballots by contacting voters to correct signature, address, or other irregularities. Trump troopers claimed this was illegal and wanted the court to throw out all those votes. Here is one filing of many.
If they could persuade the court to discard more than two million absentee ballots, presumably mostly favorable to Biden, then they could reverse Pennsylvania and keep Trump’s victory hopes alive. But judge after Judge turned them down with stinging rebukes.
The Trump team appealed to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court and lost. They appealed to the US Supreme Court, now with three Trump appointees. Ted Cruz from Texas offered to argue the appeal with the US Supreme Court, but it declined to hear the appeal. Pennsylvania certified its results and its electors cast their votes for Biden.
Out of all the lawsuits across the country, Trump won one lawsuit in Pennsylvania. It effected a few dozen votes. Quoting a Time Magazine article, the Trump team wanted:
to compel Pennsylvania Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar and all 67 counties to impose an earlier date for voters to show proof of identification if it was not on their initial ballots.From https://time.com/5908505/trump-lawsuits-biden-wins/
On November 12, the presiding judge ruled in favor of the campaign, writing that ballots cast by voters who had not provided supplemental identification by Nov. 9 could not be counted
Here is a collection of Pennsylvania election lawsuit filings and responses.
Trump took an early lead on election night in Wisconsin. Then Milwaukee County reported in the wee hours of Wednesday morning, giving Biden the lead. That started the statistical improbabilities 2020 election myth that flew across the internet. Milwaukee County did report late, and does tend to favor Democratic candidates, but the numbers are well within reason. Trump actually gained a higher percentage of votes in Milwaukee in 2020 compared to 2016.
In 2016, President Trump received 1,405,284 votes and won Wisconsin by 22,748 votes over Hillary Clinton, who received 1,382,536. In 2020, President Trump received 1,610,065 votes and lost by 20,682 votes to Joe Biden, who received 1,630,673.Wisconsin Election Commission 2020 election FAQ, https://elections.wi.gov/faq/2020
In the city of Milwaukee, turnout was virtually the same. In 2016, there were 246,617 votes cast for resident and in 2020 there were 246,956, an increase of 339 votes. That is a very small increase, especially considering all the effort that Democratic groups put into increasing turnout in Milwaukee.
In 2016, the city of Milwaukee voted 45,422 for Trump and 188,700 for Clinton. In 2020, the city of Milwaukee voted 48,414 for Trump and 194,661 for Biden.
In 2020, President Trump received 6.5% more votes in the city of Milwaukee than he did in 2016. Biden received 3.1% more votes in 2020 than Clinton received in 2016.
Wisconsin also faced the usual assortment of fraud claims. None stood up to scrutiny. All failed in various court hearings. Here is the Wisconsin Election Commission 2020 election FAQ with many of the charges and responses.
Here is a collection of Wisconsin election lawsuit filings and responses.
2020 Election Myths Rehashed: Texas Lawsuit
After Trump court challenges across the country failed, Texas Attorney General, Ken Paxton filed a federal lawsuit asking the US Supreme Court to overturn election results in Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin on Dec. 7. Paxton rehashed the same arguments courts across the country had already thrown out, and then claimed that Texas had the right to file such a lawsuit because election results in other states harmed Texas. Seventeen states and 126 congressional representatives also signed onto the suit. Here is the Texas lawsuit filing with the US Supreme Court.
On Friday, Dec. 11, the Supreme Court declined to hear the case.
The State of Texas’s motion for leave to file a bill of complaint is denied for lack of standing under Article III of the Constitution. Texas has not demonstrated a judicially cognizable interest in the manner in which another State conducts its elections. All other pending motions are dismissed as moot. Statement of Justice Alito, with whom Justice Thomas joins: In my view, we do not have discretion to deny the filing of a bill of complaint in a case that falls within our original jurisdiction. See Arizona v. California, 589 U. S. ___ (Feb. 24, 2020) (Thomas, J., dissenting). I would therefore grant the motion to file the bill of complaint but would not grant other relief, and I express no view on any other issue.From https://www.supremecourt.gov/search.aspx?filename=/docket/docketfiles/html/public/22o155.html
2020 Election Myth: Big Tech Censorship
Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, and other social media platforms sometimes flag posts for truthfulness, hide them from search results, and even suspend or delete users who violate their terms of service. As 2020 election myth rumors flew around the world over the internet, social media censorship was everywhere, especially when Twitter suspended The New York Post account over the Hunter Biden story in October.
Trump troopers complain that liberal-leaning big tech platforms conspire to suppress conservative opinions. They argue that, instead of allowing the marketplace of ideas to sort out the truth, liberal-leaning social media companies, who believe they’re smarter than everyone else, try to do it for us. Twitter even flags tweets from the president of the United States.
Social media companies respond that false rumors tend to fly farther and faster than truth. Academic studies back them up. They’re easy to find. Here is a study from MIT. Here is another study published in Scientific American.
These rumors can kill people. In 2016, a false rumor flew around the internet that Hilary Clinton and other Democrats operated a child sex ring from the Comet Ping Pong pizza parlor in Washington, DC. Idiots with an audience, including Alex Jones and Jack Posobiec fanned the flames until another idiot named Edgar Welch drove from North Carolina to Washington DC and entered the pizzeria with guns drawn to rescue the nonexistent children. Welch surrendered to police when he realized he was on a fool’s errand. This Washington Post Pizzagate article chronicles the story in detail. In case the link goes bad, here is a PDF.
Alex Jones eventually apologized for his Pizzagate role. Jack Posibiec went on to become a featured reporter for OANN, along with other conspiracy theorists. Trump supporters who depend on OANN for their news might want to examine the credibility of the reporters delivering it.
This leaves social media companies in the center of a firestorm. If they operate as neutral carriers like telephone companies, sooner or later a lie will kill lots of people. But if they fact-check posts or otherwise interfere with free expression on their platforms, they also invite controversy. In fact, after the 2020 election, President Trump threatened to veto a US military appropriation bill unless it exempted social media companies from liability protection under section 230.
My family lived through a social-media-fueled firestorm, and so I have a personal stake in all this. There are no easy solutions.
Surveys shortly after the 2020 election say about three fourths of Republicans still believe the 2020 election was rigged. From anecdotal conversations, I suspect, deep down, my Republican friends don’t like the election results because the guy they voted for lost. And so they embrace 2020 election myths that match the narrative they want as fact. I plead with my Republican friends to dig deeper. Look at the evidence. The real evidence, beyond what somebody with a TV or internet audience says. And look at the credibility of the people hurling the accusations. Make your decisions based on facts, not rumors.
What would it take for the 2020 election myths about massive conspiracies to work?
- Dozens of state, Federal, and appellate judges, and Supreme Court justices, many nominated by President Trump, would be in on it.
- Grass roots Democratic and Republican election workers across the country would be in on it.
- Democratic and Republican elected officials across the country, and especially in Georgia would be in on it.
- Somebody would have to compromise Dominion voting machines in 28 states without any auditors finding out.
- Corrupted voting machines would need to show accurate completed ballots to voters, but then discard them and produce fake ballots to match algorithm-generated tallies.
- Somebody would need to discard millions of real ballots and replace them with corresponding fake ballots.
- For Sidney Powel’s 2020 election myths about moving planeloads of ballots to work, somebody would need to print millions of paper ballots, customized for every voting location across the country, with all the local candidates for all the local races, all listed in the correct order.
- US postal officials, pilots, freight haulers, and couriers across the country would need to cooperate and coordinate to move millions of fake paper ballots to vote counting centers across the country.
- Somebody would need to secretly engage hundreds of people in foreign vote-counting centers around the world to count American votes, without anyone reporting on it.
Do 2020 election myths about a secret conspiracy that dwarfs the size and complexity of the WWII Manhattan project sound credible? Or does the more simple explanation, that the 2020 election results really did reflect what the people wanted, make more sense?
In an earlier blog post about 2020 election myths, I used a picture of Hitler. A few people took me to task for that. But I stand by that picture because Trump’s post-election behavior is right out of Mein Kampf. Read Hitler’s words from 1925 for yourself, and then consider what’s flying around the internet today.
All this was inspired by the principle—which is quite true within itself—that in the big lie there is always a certain force of credibility; because the broad masses of a nation are always more easily corrupted in the deeper strata of their emotional nature than consciously or voluntarily; and thus in the primitive simplicity of their minds they more readily fall victims to the big lie than the small lie, since they themselves often tell small lies in little matters but would be ashamed to resort to large-scale falsehoods.https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/hitler-on-the-big-lie
One more thing to consider. Millions of Americans contributed hundreds of millions of dollars to Donald Trump after the 2020 election. Not his campaign, but Trump himself. Read the fine-print on where your hard-earned money goes.
Elections are the closest thing to sacred in the United States. The 2020 election was as clean as any, and maybe cleaner than most.
It’s easy to make up conspiracy theories. It’s hard to chase them to their origins to find the truth. Let’s not tear ourselves apart for a lie.
Excerpts from Judges’ Rulings about 2020 Election Myths
Allegations that find favor in the public sphere of gossip and innuendo cannot be a substitute for earnest pleadings and procedure in federal court, They most certainly cannot be the basis for upending Arizona’s 2020 General Election.
If granted, millions of Arizonans who exercised their individual right to vote in the 2020 General Election would be utterly disenfranchised,
Such a request should then be accompanied by clear and conclusive facts to support the alleged ‘egregious range of conduct in Maricopa County and other Arizona counties … at the direction of Arizona state election officials, Yet the Complaint’s allegations are sorely wanting of relevant or reliable evidence, and Plaintiffs’ invocation of this Court’s limited jurisdiction is severely strained.U.S. District Court Judge Diane Humetewa, Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2020 in Arizona, quoted in https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/politics/elections/2020/12/09/federal-judge-throws-out-last-election-challenge-pending-arizona/6506927002/
…Plaintiffs ask this Court to disenfranchise almost seven million voters. This Court has been unable to find any case in which a plaintiff has sought such a drastic remedy in the contest of an election, in terms of the sheer volume of votes asked to be invalidated. One might expect that when seeking such a startling outcome, a plaintiff would come formidably armed with compelling legal arguments and factual proof of rampant corruption, such that this Court would have no option but to regrettably grant the proposed injunctive relief despite the impact it would have on such a large group of citizens.Central Pennsylvania U.S. District Judge Matthew Brann, Nov. 21, 2020, https://www.courtlistener.com/recap/gov.uscourts.pamd.127057/gov.uscourts.pamd.127057.202.0_1.pdf
That has not happened. Instead, this Court has been presented with strained legal arguments without merit and speculative accusations, unpled in the operative complaint and unsupported by evidence. In the United States of America, this cannot justify the disenfranchisement of a single voter, let alone all the voters of its sixth most populated state. Our people, laws, and institutions demand more…
Free, fair elections are the lifeblood of our democracy. Charges of unfairness are serious. But calling an election unfair does not make it so. Charges require specific allegations and then proof. We have neither here.Pennsylvania Circuit Judge Stephanos Bibas, Friday, Nov. 27, 2020. See https://www2.ca3.uscourts.gov/opinarch/203371np.pdf President Trump nominated Bibas to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in 2017
Aftermath, Jan. 7, 2021
Americans watched our country embarrass itself yesterday when a mob estimated at between forty and fifty thousand people tried to start an insurrection in Washington, DC. The immediate aftermath from yesterday’s orgy of idiocy:
- A QAnon conspiracy theorist died trying to break into the US House chamber.
- Three other people died from other medical conditions.
- Dozens of law enforcement professionals injured, some seriously.
- Property damage.
- Lasting images of a violent mob trying to destroy Congress while claiming respect for law.
And even after all that, Trump apologists still defend their hero. The guy who incited it all.
It’s been busy since I posted this blog post a few days before Christmas, 2020.
On Dec. 17, Trump staffer, Peter Navarro published his first report rehashing debunked 2020 election myths on his website. Scroll down to find it. Here is a PDF in case Navarro’s link goes bad. He titled it, The Immaculate Deception. The blog sites praising Navarro’s words should follow his footnotes. I picked footnote 20 at random to follow. It led to the Democracy Docket website and a PDF with the complaint about an Arizona election court case. Navarro praised the Arizona complaint, but never bothered to mention the judge’s ruling about the case. If he had, he would have noted the judge ruled against Trump. Wikipedia says Navarro has a Ph. D from Harvard University. Which means he should know better than sloppy scholarship. Fact checkers everywhere found holes in Navarro’s report. Diehard Trump fans didn’t care.
On Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021, The Washington Post posted the audio from a Jan. 2 call from the Trump team to Georgia Secretary of State, Brad Raffensperger and his team. Trump opened by offering to search for ways to avoid further legal action against Raffensperger and his team if Raffensperger found enough votes for Trump to win Georgia. Raffensperger summed up Georgia’s position with these words: “Mr. President, your numbers are wrong.” Here is a Youtube copy of the full audio.
Trump announced a Jan. 5, 2021 rally in Georgia to support Republican Senate candidates, and a Jan. 6 Washington DC rally concurrent with the joint session of Congress to count the presidential Electoral college votes.
Counting Electoral College votes has been a ceremonial process for more than 200 years. Not this time. Trump pressured Vice-President Pence to overturn the votes, 140 House members announced they would object to the counts, and a dozen senators joined them.
Navarro published The Art of the Steal on his website on Jan. 5, 2021. Here is a PDF in case Navarro’s link goes bad. In this new document, he accused a cabal of Democrats, state legislatures, useful idiots, and George Soros of stealing the election. Same 2020 election myths, different package. Trump diehards ate it up.
Democratic challengers won the Jan. 5 Georgia Senate runoff elections. Trump accused Georgia Democrats of stealing the election. Georgia officials felt the need to evacuate Raffensperger from his office amid mob protests.
Up to fifty thousand people joined a Washington, DC Trump rally the morning of Jan. 6. It’s a shame Youtube removed the Trump speech videos. But the Giuliani “Trial by Combat” speech captures the mood. After lying for two months about the election, Trump and his cronies sent a mob of true believers from the rally site to the Capitol to disrupt the vote counting.
Meanwhile, starting at 1 PM US Eastern time, Vice-President Pence chaired a joint session of Congress to count the Electoral College votes. When the Arizona objection came, the House and Senate adjourned to their respective chambers for two hours of debate. The mob attacked a few minutes into the Arizona debates.
Encouraged by the president of the United States, thousands of idiots, including QAnon true believer, Ashli Babbitt disrupted Congressional work that day. Babbitt died trying to lead a mob through a broken window into a room holding Congressional representatives. She died attacking the country she spent fourteen years in the Air Force serving. She broke her oath to support and defend the Constitution. The law enforcement officer who shot her upheld his oath.
She died for a lie.
Law enforcement officials found a cooler of Molotov cocktails and two pipe bombs near the Capitol building that day.
Reporter Luke Mogelson with The New Yorker followed Trump supporters as they forced their way into the Senate chamber. He documented what he saw with this video and wrote this in-depth article about what he witnessed that day. Warning: it’s ugly.
One idiot told a Fox News reporter on national TV, this is the peoples’ house and he could go inside anytime he wants. Well, buddy, the US Capitol building is also my house. I expect you to pay for what you broke.
People ask how to restore trust in our elections. Mitt Romney may have offered the best answer.
For any who remain insistent on an audit in order to satisfy the many people who believe the election was stolen, I offer this perspective. No Congressional audit is ever going to convince these voters, particularly when the president will continue to say the election was stolen. The best way we can show respect for the voters who were upset is by telling them the truth.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dm0NtgnA0qg
Later that evening and into the wee hours of Thursday, Jan. 7. Congress reconvened and finished counting the votes. Barring a revolution, President Biden will begin his term on Inauguration day, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021.