STATE OF THE RACE
One of the crucial hallmarks of democratic nations is the integrity of their election process. If the citizens cannot trust the voting system to be fair and accurate then any government elected under a shroud of election irregularities will be considered illegitimate in the eyes of the voters for the opposing candidate. Major election fraud is the hallmark of unstable countries whose leaders engage in dictatorial, illegal, and unconstitutional behaviour – think Zimbabwe, Iran, Venezuela, the various ‘Stans’ that were part of the Soviet Union, various African nations, the list is long and inglorious. On the question in my title hinges the result of the 2020 US Presidential Election. As things stand right now, media networks have called the election for Biden on the basis of provisional wins in key states. BREAKING NEWS: likely as a consequence of the suits filed in Federal Court in Pennsylvania today by the Trump campaign, Real Clear Politics, the respected news and poll aggregation site, has WITHDRAWN its call for Pennsylvania in favour of Biden and placed it back into the Undecided category. This drops Biden below the 270 mark needed to claim victory. [EDIT] Since writing, CNN has withdrawn Arizona and Georgia from Biden into Undecided so now he has only 279 ECVs – they are keeping their call for Pennsylvania. The Trump campaign allege widespread voter fraud in six key states: Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan, Wisconsin, Arizona and Nevada and they are challenging the preliminary results in various courts and Trump himself is refusing to concede. It needs to be pointed out that network projections of a winner is not in any way an official result. These are certified by key officials in each state and usually not until some time in December.
The precedent for a challenged Presidential election outcome is the 2000 election when networks projected Al Gore had won Florida making him President but the Bush campaign challenged the Florida result and the court challenges wound up in the Supreme Court (SCOTUS) where the court ruled in favour of Bush in Bush v Gore stopping the count that was continuing only in Democrat heavy counties authorized by the county courts and then the then left leaning Florida Appellate and Supreme Courts. SCOTUS ruled that the selective counting breached the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution’s 14th Amendment. The final result was that Bush carried Florida by just under 600 votes and he was elected President but was considered illegitimate by Democrats who felt robbed of the election because the counting was stopped. For the record, a consortium of news organisations (all mainstream and not conservative) paid for all the FL ballots to be counted and Bush still won by just over 500 votes.
Network election gurus have justified their calling the race for Biden on the basis of his leads in the key states that they considered insurmountable given the track record of normal mandated or requested ballot recounts. Right now, the Biden leads are:
The media and Democrats maintain that either there is no voter fraud or that the fraud is minor and of a size that cannot reverse Biden’s leads. The Trump campaign (and some Republicans) maintain that the fraud is of such a scale that Biden’s leads can be overcome thus ensuring Trump’s re-election. This essay looks at the 23 types of election fraud in the US, looks at some statistical anomalies in this election and then looks at each of the five most affected states and some specifics of what the Trump campaign are doing.
TYPES OF ELECTION FRAUD
For each one of these types of voter fraud, I will link to actual examples in the 2020 election except for a couple that are anecdotal on social media.
- Throwing away Trump ballots: These actions are alleged to have been undertaken by either postal workers or polling clerks at polling stations. Some have bragging videos on social media.
- Legitimately registered voters who voted on election day, were properly verified and ID checked and yet their ballots are not showing up on the electronic vote tracking website as having been counted. This allegation only exists in states that bar code every ballot and offer an online vote tracking system. I have friends in Arizona who say there is no official record of their vote despite doing all that is required to vote.
- Collecting of blank mail-in ballots, opening them filling them out for Biden then resealing them and submitting them for counting.
- ‘Losing’ ballots that were favourable to Trump or Trump friendly military ballots found in a dumpster. 8,000 military votes were ‘lost’ in Georgia.
- Ballot harvesting. This practice is illegal in almost all states. It is where operatives from a party go around and assist people in how to vote and offer to then take their ballot to the polling station. In Minneapolis, MN Project Veritas caught an operative for Ilhan Omar’s campaign who had illegally collected over 300 ballots all filled out in favour of Biden and Democrats.
- Voting machines switching votes. Of the various types of election fraud, this is one of the hardest to detect and prove.
- Allowing into the official ballot count ballots that were received after the legal deadline set out in the relevant State election legislation. Of all the types of election fraud, this will be the one the Trump campaign’s lawyers will focus the most on.
- Manipulating United States Postal Service date stamps to backdate late received ballots. This is a way to turn an illegal late ballot into a legally validated ballot as in no. 7 above. Postal workers in Erie, PA have alleged via affidavit that they were instructed to do this by their supervisor.
- Rejected ballots called over-ballots. This is another voting machine anomaly and various voters in Arizona have attested to this happening. This happens when a manually completed in-person ballot on election day is fed into the ballot counting machine and the machine malfunctions and the poll clerk overrides the malfunction to force it through to make it seem to the voter that the vote has been counted when in fact it has been rejected. This often falls more into the category of honest mistake rather than an attempt at outright fraud.
- However, a fraudulent version of no. 9 is when poll workers knowingly guide voters to a machine known to be faulty to deliberately cause that vote to not be counted. Various people on Facebook have described being guided to one particular machine by poll station staff in a heavily Republican district despite there being no crowds or queues and there being a wall of empty machines to process the ballot.
- Illegally curing ballots. Curing a ballot is when a voter comes in without ID or proof of current address to match the address where they are registered, and the ballot cannot be counted as legal until these mistakes are fixed. Poll workers have been caught on camera faking signatures, addresses and ID in an attempt to cure the ballot.
- Selectively curing ballots such as only allowing this practice in Democrat heavy counties and not allowing it in Republican heavy counties. This has formed the basis of the latest Trump campaign lawsuit in PA.
- Allowing absentee ballots to be counted with no ID verification
- Not purging the voter rolls of dead people and allowing them to vote year after year. There have been numerous instances of this.
- Counting the ballots of people who’ve left a state but still illegally voted in their previous state of residence.
- Fabricating in-state proof of residence to allow an illegal ballot to be counted.
- Taking rejected mail-in ballots and trying to use provisional ballots (only to be used for people unable to cast an in-person ballot on election day because of a recent address change) to fix the errors after the receipt of mail in ballot deadline was passed.
- Processing ballots as counted without signature verification on instruction from polling station supervisor.
- Computer glitches that always seem to go in one direction, benefitting Biden and not Trump. Of particular concern is vote collation software from Dominion Voting Systems that was used by 30 states to track and add votes.
- Refusing entry to authorized party poll watching representatives so that election day voting and then the subsequent count goes on only being watched by Democrat representatives. This enables some of the other fraudulent activities to go on undetected. Variations on this are blocking counting tables from the view of Republican poll watchers or allowing them entry but forcing them to stand so far back as to make it difficult to view what is going.
- Mass sending of absentee ballots to everybody on the voter roll. This is not fraud per se, but it has enabled fraud on a much larger scale than before. Mail-in ballots have been an integral part of voting in many US states. The difference in these states is that voters REQUEST a mail-in ballot and so it comes to a secure and known address. Mass posting of mail-in ballots to all voters on a voter roll means multiple ballots coming to addresses due to not updated voter addresses due to deliberately left messy voter rolls. These unused mail-in ballots get thrown out and then are collected by ballot harvesters.
- Voters who never requested a mail in ballot and go to vote in person only to find that someone had requested a mail-in ballot for them to another address and voted for them, so they were unable to vote.
- Rest home fraud. Reports are coming out of PA that a single nursing home ordered over 1,000 ballots and that almost all were for Biden and almost none had any other candidate’s circle filled in i.e. no under ballot votes.
STATISTICAL ANOMOLIES UNIQUE TO 2020
This election has thrown up some statistical anomalies that may be a pointer to vote fraud.
- Comparison between the 2020 election night tallies and tallies a few days later in battleground but Republican run states like Ohio and Florida were little altered because those states have much more robust voting procedures and counting oversight.
- Comparison between election night tallies and tallies a few days later were little different in the key states in 2016 whereas in 2020, the vote tallies in several key battleground states all shifted dramatically in Biden’s favour after a few days of counting. Some of this will be attributable to Biden leading with mail-in ballots but the leads leading up to election day were of the order of say 55/45 or 60/40. Then the results of the late night dumps in MI, WI and PA were massively lopsided to the point of being outside the so-called Benford curve that the US State Department election monitors use in monitoring overseas elections. The curve looks at the standard partisan split of votes throughout the ballot time frame and uses standard deviation analysis. Examination of all candidates on the ballot in these three states except Biden fit the Benford norm whereas as the pattern of Biden late votes are 2, 3, 4 and in one case (some wards near Milwaukee) 5 standard deviation points off the norm, a statistical impossibility in a normal fair election and thus only possible by fraudulent means.
- Large new batches of votes would come in and 100% of the votes were for Biden which is statistically impossible if the votes were all legitimate. Polling guru Nate Silver posts this on Twitter with no comment as to its real world impossibility.
- Turnouts in key Democrat heavy cities and counties in MI, WI and PA not only shattered all records but have been proven to be statistically virtually impossible by statisticians who have examined decades of prior voting patterns in these areas.
- In 57 mostly rural counties in Wisconsin, Biden underperformed from Obama in 2012 by as much as 28%. If you factor in population losses, that number rises to 41%. In another 16 counties he underperformed by single digits. Only in 10 counties did he overperform Obama but adjusted for population loss since 2012 in only 3 counties did he over perform Obama. Trump overperformed from Obama’s 2012 turnout in all but 4 counties. This means that Trump overperformed in 95% of counties and Biden underperformed in 80%. In Washington County (suburban Milwaukee) Biden overperforms over Obama by 15% and yet in neighbouring Milwaukee County he under performs by 5% – that’s a massive 20% swing in voter behaviour across just 20 miles (30kms). The same massive discrepancy happens in Dane County (City of Madison) a huge 20% increase over Obama and yet all the surrounding counties, he underperforms by 2 – 12%. Again, a swing of 20 – 30% across a few miles! This same bizarre and statistically highly unusual anomaly continues in Waukesha County where the overperformance compared to surrounding rural counties ranges from 15 to an improbably 43%! Ditto Ozaukee County. Trump’s results follow a normal distribution pattern you’d expect of a Republican candidate. Across these 5 counties, Biden beats Obama by 83,000 votes and yet he only leads Trump by 20,000 statewide. Furthermore, turnout in these 5 counties is a whopping 92 – 95% compared to 67% in 2016 – a statistically impossible improvement without widespread fraud.
- The number of votes cast for President for a particular party does not always mean that votes for the same party’s senate race will be the same. Mostly there is what is called the under vote phenomenon as down ballot voter enthusiasm wanes. However, it is common for Senate incumbents to out-poll the same party’s Presidential nominee. Let’s look at some races on both sides of the isle – the determiner here is that the winning candidate for President is compared with the winning candidate for Senate of the same party.
Florida 2016 Trump 4,617,886
Ohio 2016 Trump 2,841,005
Difference – 10%
Iowa 2008 Obama 818,240
Michigan is the most instructive comparison because it involves seemingly wining Democrat candidates for President and Senate in both 2008 and 2016. The turnout differences makes the raw vote swing meaningless but the percentage over and under swing is significant – an almost 10% swing from the status quo of the Senate candidate doing better than the Presidential candidate to Biden scoring above the Senate candidate.
Michigan 2020 Biden votes 2,794,853
Peters votes 2,722,724
Difference +72,129 (+3%)
Michigan 2008 Obama votes 2,867,680
Levin votes 3,033,550
Today the Trump campaign claimed the undervote of 42,000 in Arizona was two times the usual and 70 – 115,000 in Michigan a staggering three times more than usual. It was 98,000 in Pennsylvania, 80,000 in Georgia and 62,000 in Wisconsin, all well above historical norms.
WHAT IS HAPPENING IN THE CONTESTED STATES?
I have left Michigan off the list as the winning margin of 150,000 will be likely a too steep a hill to overcome, however the RNC have filed in Federal District Court in Detroit proof of some 2,800 incidents of voter fraud that they plan to insist be investigated.
Networks show Trump on only 214 Electoral College votes but Alaska is 2:1 for Trump so he should pick up 3 there and North Carolina has a mandatory pause on counting until November 14 but Trump is well ahead with fewer fraud allegations being made so he should snare those 15 ECVs making 232. Trump’s path to victory lies in overturning the counts in the following states. He can get there with various combinations of 3 (with PA) or 4 (without PA)
ARIZONA (11) – 14,000 lead
- Biden’s lead continues to shrink as ballots are slowly counted in Arizona. The regular count may yet give it to Trump. If not, the mandatory recount will focus on mail-in ballots that went more for Biden so any rejection of improper ballots will more disproportionately come off his total.
- The Trump campaign and the RNC have sued Maricopa County Elections for the problems of the over vote machines mentioned in point no. 9 above and for the fact that the disenfranchised voters have yet to have a proper ballot be done to make up for the election day mistake.
GEORGIA (16) – 11,000 lead
- Georgia has a very thorough re-canvas procedure and this time Republican inspectors, sometimes absent in the Democrat heavy countries in and around Atlanta in the initial count, will be present to challenge invalid votes and have them discarded.
- Apparently counting in Democrat heavy Fulton County ended at 1030pm on election night and all poll watchers of both parties were asked to leave but the count recommenced in secret at 1am with no Republican poll watchers invited back. Anomalies like this will be challenged in court cases soon to be filed.
- There are over 8,000 military ballots still left outstanding in GA, ballots that normally heavy favour Trump.
NEVADA (6) – 38,000 lead
- The Nevada GOP have made a criminal referral to the Department of Justice for voter fraud of 3,000 out of state residents voting illegally in Nevada but this number likely will expand to 6,000.
- Nevada’s voting is dominated by Clark County incorporating metro Las Vegas and the County election supervisor is a Democrat who refuses to investigate allegations of voter irregularities that run the gambit of the list above until after counting finishes. This is being litigated.
PENNSYLVANIA (20) – 43,000 lead
- There have been multiple issues in multiple counties in PA and various of the fraudulent activities listed above were prevalent. Philadelphia has been a hotbed of voting irregularities for decades.
- Republican PA House speaker has called for a full audit of votes before certification.
- The lawsuit filed by the Trump campaign and RNC against the PA Secretary of State and 7 selected Democrat heavy counties in Federal District Court today alleges breaches of the Equal Protection Clause for selectively allowing rejected ballots to be cured in Democrat heavy counties and yet preventing such conduct in Republican heavy counties. The unequal treatment extended to allowing Democrats to view the count in GOP heavy counties and preventing Republican observers from overseeing the count in Democrat heavy counties. In Allegheny County (covering metro Philadelphia), a staggering 682,000 mail-in ballots were allowed to be counted with NO Republican observers present.
- Late ballots: this is the subject of the lawsuit filed by the Republican Attorney Generals Association with 10 State Attorney Generals filing amicus (support) briefs. PA State law stipulates that mail-in ballots must be receive before 8pm on the day of the election. The PA Democratic Party filed suit in October seeking a 3 day extension of this rule and the PA Supreme Court upheld this rule change. The GOP appealed to SCOTUS claiming that only the legislature can change election law, not a court but SCOTUS was tied 4 – 4 due to the death of Ruth Bader Ginsberg and so the lower court ruling was left to stand but Chief Justice Roberts, sensing this would be a likely post-election flashpoint, instructed the PA election officials to separate out all ballots received after election day and NOT count them. It turns out that because PA election officials (the PA Secretary of State is a Democrat as is the Governor) failed to abide by the SCOTUS segregation ruling, the GOP had to get Justice Alito to reiterate the segregation ruling only days ago. We are talking about 400,000 late received ballots the majority of which went to Biden and a large number of them were counted when it may turn out that a subsequent case that likely will end up at SCOTUS, now with a 5 – 4 true conservative balance (Roberts has become a swing vote), could rule that the late ballots already counted must come off the vote totals for each candidate. Some estimates put the Biden/Trump split on these ballots at 90/10 and so any disallowed late ballots will disproportionately affect Biden’s total.
- 100,000 people voted in person on election day (voters who voted in person on election day favoured Trump heavily) whose votes were held aside as provisional ballots to be counted later.
- Biden’s margin is just above the automatic recount mechanism however the PA Legislature is controlled by the GOP in both Houses and they can order a recount as can SCOTUS.
WISCONSIN (10) – 20,000 lead
- Wisconsin is another state that Trump was leading handily on election night then suddenly at 3am next morning, 100,000 Biden votes were dumped into the system giving Biden a narrow lead. Wisconsin’s recount rules are very stringent, and the tight margin will trigger an automatic re-canvas. The ability of a WI re-canvas to flush out illegal votes was most dramatically illustrated in a 2019 special election for the Wisconsin Supreme Court. On election night the Democratic candidate was ahead by 350 and after the recanvas, the Republican held the seat by 7,000 votes thanks to the re-canvas.
- The heavily Democrat counties near the city of Milwaukee and Madison (featured earlier) with absurdly high voter turnout that are statistically impossible will be closely scrutinised. Democrats claim this came from same day registration allowed on election day, but the WI law requires that same day registration voters have to have a valid photo ID, a verified signature, AND a witness. Anything fraudulent and not meeting WI electoral law will be flushed out in the re-canvas.
There is no denying that election fraud has occurred and across the many of the types of fraud detailed. The crucial question is how large the problem is, i.e. is it large enough to reverse Biden’s leads in key states and then what are the remedies available and will they be effective. No one knows the answer until these things are fully litigated through the hierarchy of courts.
- Disallowing of illegally cast ballots. This is by far the biggest thrust of the litigation of the Trump campaign. If proper vote audits can be conducted and various categories of ballots can be proven to be illegally cast, a court can order those ballots to be taken off the vote total. As stated earlier, a large number of late ballots were cast in the PA election and it is unknown at this time as to how many are now part of the official count and how many can and will be found to be invalid. Because Pennsylvania has the largest number of Electoral College votes of the contested states then all challenges filed by the Trump campaign and the GOP will likely be litigated all the way to SCOTUS. As stated earlier, SCOTUS has already weighed in on the PA situation but did not decide in favour of the PA Republican Party to rule on the legality of late ballots rather they kicked for touch and asked for these ballots to be set aside. That the PA Secretary of State did not entirely do this as instructed prompting the Alito order a few days ago, may send a signal to SCOTUS that the Commonwealth is not taking its attempt at adjudicating this tricky issue seriously and they may be less favourable in a subsequent ruling on the crucial deciding case that surely will soon appear on their docket.
- State Legislatures ultimately write each State’s electoral laws and they formally appoint the States’ Electors when the Electoral College meets. In AZ, GA, PA, MI and WI, each chamber of their Legislatures is controlled by the Republican Party. Already a joint Michigan House and Senate Committee has met in an emergency session to evaluate aspects of voting irregularities including going as far as issuing subpoenas to state election officials to “please explain”. If a Legislature decides that the State’s Presidential election was too fraught with fraud issues and it is not possible to get to the bottom of the irregularities in time, they could declare the election null and void thus subtracting those Electoral College votes from Biden or declare Trump the winner and direct the winning party’s electors to cast the state’s Electoral College votes.
- In the unlikely event of a tie of 269 ECVs each (only possible if Trump wins PA, NV and AZ and Biden holds GA and WI) then the vote is sent to the House of Representatives and each State’s delegation is allowed one vote and the delegation is required to vote in line with the party that holds the majority of Congressional seats in that State. Whilst the Democrats currently hold the House 215 to Republicans 196, Republicans hold a majority of House seats in 30 states and Democrats only in 19 (Michigan is tied 7 each).
The media have anointed Biden the winner and some predictable Republicans have decided it’s all over. Most world leaders have assumed that Trump can’t win and are calibrating accordingly. The hill does seem steep to climb but Trump has faced many seemingly career ending battles and prevailed so it would be foolish to count him out. He is motivated to fight on and the apparatus of the Republican Party in all the key states, the RNC and various popular key GOP Senators are keen to see the appeals, audits and recounts play themselves out and money is no object. If the election fraud is as widespread as some fear, then Trump could flip enough states back to him and eke out 270+ EC votes. If the appeals fail then it will be harder for Biden’s opponents to cry they were robbed of power illegitimately. Frankly, if Democrats have nothing to hide and genuinely believe that Biden won without any vote tampering of any substance, then they should welcome these reviews and audits and patiently wait it out but they seem impatient to move on and have pooh poohed all the challenges. Trump has said if all legal avenues to turn the result his way fail; he will concede and do so graciously.
I will end with this last little nugget. The two most controversial of Trump’s three Supreme Court nominees (Brett Kavanagh – subjected to an unprecedent storm of eventually unprovable allegations of sexual assault and Amy Coney Barrett – controversially confirmed mere days from the election), both were an integral part of George W Bush’s legal team who successfully fought and won Bush v Gore that secured George W Bush the 2000 election!