Is the U.S. election system corrupted by fraud? Inside the claims
Anyone who’s been keeping up with current events knows about the election fraud claims. As we speak, they’re taking up the vast majority of the news cycle. As of last weekend, the Associated Press & other media outlets named Joe Biden as the projected winner of the 2020 election. However, growing suspicions and claims of foul play have only seemed to become worse and worse with each passing day.
From claims from the Trump Administration to allegations of massive voter fraud, let’s dive into the latest news.
Lawsuits from the Trump campaign
Although it’s only been several days since Election Day, Trump’s legal team has already filed at least ten lawsuits in five different states: Nevada, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Georgia, and Arizona. These cases range from minor issues to direct accusations of alleged voter fraud.
To note, some of the claims the lawsuits made included using Sharpies on ballots were invalid, that election officials were not rightfully excluding late mail-in ballots, and counting ballots from deceased individuals. However, not a single one of these accusations have been proven true so far. Some cases have already been dismissed due to a lack of evidence.
“Instead of evidence, we’re assaulted with a plethora of claims seeking to undermine faith in the election, ranging from confusing to clearly fabricated,” Joe Bak-Coleman, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Washington tells NBC News. “Individually, none of these claims could stand up to a moment’s scrutiny, but collectively they’re deafening, urging the average citizen to give up and accept the ambiguity.”
The Trump campaign’s recent lawsuit in Pennsylvania attempts to discard every mail-in ballot count in the state, which is where a majority of Biden’s votes came from. Trump’s lawyers are claiming Pennsylvania’s entire mail-in voting system is unconstitutional.
Attorneys first asked a judge to issue an emergency order to stop the count, claiming Republican observers had been barred. However, when asked if representatives from Trump’s campaign were allowed to observe the vote-counting in Philadelphia, a Trump lawyer initially attempted to avoid answering the question rather than giving a yes or no answer.
Once further questioned by Judge Paul S. Diamond, Trump’s legal team admitted to having “a nonzero number of people in the room”. In fact, on Friday afternoon, a ballot counter confirmed there were a total of twelve Republicans and five Democrats in the room observing the vote count in Philadelphia.
USA Today has reported that nine legal experts have already confirmed Trump’s lawsuit in Pennsylvania will be “dead on arrival”. “This has a very ‘throw it all at the wall and see what sticks’ feel,” Kermit Roosevelt, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania Law School remarked.
Loyal supporters online
Trump has tweeted nonstop surrounding claims of election fraud, so it’s no surprise his vocal supporters have been quick to echo his sentiments. Politico reported that seventy percent of Republicans have said they don’t believe the 2020 election was fair following news of the results. Among these people, seventy-two percent believed ballots were tampered with and seventy-eight percent didn’t trust mail-in ballots.
An analysis by Vinesight confirmed tweets & retweets about the election with terms such as “steal”, “fraud”, “rigged”, and “dead” have spiked more than 2,800% from Nov. 2 to Nov. 6. Trump supporters have also attempted to launch numerous “Stop the Steal” Facebook groups to organize rallies & protests.
Social media clampdown
So far, Facebook has shut down one “Stop the Steal” group which garnered over 350,000 members in just a single day. Facebook claims they shut it down after finding posts of violent threats. Twitter has also labelled as many tweets as they could find surrounding election fraud as false, including many of Trump’s own tweets.
Due to election fraud conspiracies being censored by popular social media sites, some conservatives have begun to congregate & conspire on other apps, such as Parler, a lesser known site that doesn’t monitor content as strictly. AP News reported as of Tuesday, Parler was the most downloaded app in Apple’s store.
Plenty of right-wing activists such as commentators & podcasters have also fueled the fire of fraud claims. Dan Bongino, a conservative whose posts are some of the most shared on Facebook timelines, has made dozens of posts a day around this situation, urging his supporters to not succumb to the words of moderates & liberals.
Media debunking conspiracies
While plenty of suspicious videos, accusations, and stories have been shared around social media since Election Day, just like Trump’s legal team, there has yet to be one claim that’s been proven as truth.
A few examples of the videos being passed around include a man claiming to be a Colorado poll worker ripping up Trump ballots – only to discover it was just a TikTok prank. Another includes a trash bag of ripped-up ballots found by an Oklahoma church which later proved to just be spoiled ballots. Even an old CCTV video from Russia was spread all over social media claiming to be evidence of voter fraud.
Additionally, The New York Times reported on Tuesday that representatives in every state confirmed there was no evidence of voter fraud or other irregularities in the 2020 election, and Buzzfeed’s running article on election-related fact checks have reached over forty debunks so far.
Do you believe any of these election fraud claims? Do you think Trump & his supporters will ever back down? Let us know in the comments below.