February 23, 2024

Safe, Secure, and Fair

Spectator
By Stephen Tuttle | Sept. 16, 2023

Republican loyalists have their reasons for continuing to support Donald Trump.

Some simply can’t stand Democrats or Joe Biden and would vote for a lamppost if it was identified as a Republican. (Plenty of Democrats are just as blindly partisan.) Others claim they liked his policies regarding immigration, taxes, and China.

There is, however, a difference between blind loyalty and an unwillingness to accept reality. The latter keeps rearing its ugly head when Trump loyalists discuss the 2020 election. According to research conducted by CNN in early August, 69 percent of registered Republicans and independents leaning Republican do not believe Joe Biden’s 2020 victory was “legitimate.” Even more troubling, 39 percent of that group claim there was “proof of widespread election fraud” and 30 percent say they have a “feeling” there was widespread fraud. (When the respondents included all voters, 61 percent said they believed the Biden victory was legitimate, which was at least a bit more reassuring.)

It gets even spookier among GOP voters willing to take things one step further. According to polling by The Des Moines Register, 51 percent of Republicans most likely to attend the Iowa caucuses believe Trump actually won, a figure close to that being reported in several national polls.

To believe this requires willful ignorance as there is exactly zero evidence that would result in a Trump victory. But a CBSNews/YouGov poll might provide some insight into this foolishness. According to their research—and this is pretty alarming—71 percent of Trump voters say they believe what Donald Trump says is true and they trust him more than their own families (63 percent) or religious leaders (42 percent).

This despite the fact that Factcheck.org, The Washington Post’s Fact Checker, and PolitiFact all say Trump lied at least 30,000 times during his presidency and hasn’t slowed down since.

We heard the most fantastic stories about voter fraud after the Trump loss. Some of it was almost delightfully bizarre, especially this one: A computer program created by a dead South American dictator changed votes when tabulating them all with the help of computer servers at an American military base in Germany. Trump himself made outrageous claims about “thousands” of dead people voting in Georgia and “thousands” of illegal immigrants voting in Arizona.

There was no widespread fraud or corruption in the 2020 elections, facts confirmed by Trump’s own administration. The Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) analyzed the election and reported: “There is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes or was in any way compromised. The November 3 election was the most secure in American history.”

The 2020 election was also likely the most analyzed ever and certainly the most recounted and audited in Michigan, Arizona, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Nevada, and Wisconsin, the so-called swing states.

Here in Michigan, where accusations of elaborate voting machine miscounts were popular among the losing Trump camp, Wayne County ballots were recounted by hand, voting machines were audited, and 18,000 ballots randomly selected from 1,300 voting jurisdictions were recounted by hand. An additional investigation by Republican-led legislators all found the same thing—there was no widespread fraud, the voting tabulators worked as they were supposed to, and Joe Biden won the state.

Hand recounts and statutory audits also took place in Arizona and found no evidence of fraud. Even a months-long extravaganza of recounting and shuffling and more recounting by a pro-Trump group funded by a pro-Trump legislature found no fraud but did end up actually giving Biden more votes. (There was also no evidence of any illegal immigrants voting.)

Recounts and audits in several precincts in Philadelphia, Fulton County in Georgia (home to Atlanta), in Clark County Nevada (home to Las Vegas), and a full recount in Wisconsin were demanded by the GOP-led legislature. No widespread fraud was found, and in the handful of instances where fraud cropped up, about half tried to favor each candidate.

To be fair, there were four instances of dead people voting in Fulton County; two of them were alive when they mailed in their ballots but died before those ballots were tabulated.

The Associated Press did a deep dive in those six disputed swing states—Michigan, Georgia, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Nevada—specifically looking for anything that could be considered a fraudulently cast ballot due to the disputed status of the voter, the ballot, or the tabulator. Of the 25 million votes in those six states, they identified 475 instances of what might be considered fraud, and less than half of those, about 230, were even eligible to be prosecuted. None involved widespread or well-organized efforts to impact election results.

Trump and his loyalists are already predicting fraud in the 2024 elections. Like in 2020, that election will be safe, secure and fair. And Trump will lose again.

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