Claims of Election Day Voter Fraud Prove to be Unfounded
President Trump’s rhetoric on the topic of voter fraud is nothing new. In fact, his attempts to cast doubt on the 2020 electoral process extend back to Sept. 24, when he referenced the discovery of Trump-marked ballots in a trash can in a Pennsylvania county.
Since then, Trump has only doubled down on these claims, and has raised suspicions about everything from mail-in ballots and early voting to conduct at the polling places themselves.
Despite these efforts by President Trump and leading Republican officials to cast doubt on the vote tallying procedures heading into the Nov. 3 election, claims of voter fraud and other forms of tampering have thus far proven to be unfounded.
Yet even in a news cycle where accusations of voter fraud have largely failed to generate a front page headline, rumors have still abounded. Two conspiracies that surfaced on Wednesday revolve around ballots filled out with felt-tip pens in Arizona failing to be read by voting machines and the “magical” appearance of 128,000 votes in Michigan.
Though both theories have been roundly debunked by state officials and election analytics sites, Trump continued his pre-election strategy of casting uncertainty on the proceedings by tweeting about the situation in Michigan. However, the issue was later found to be a simple data error, not evidence for mass voter fraud dedicated to undermining Trump’s bid for the presidency.
Not to be dissuaded, President Trump continued to launch a flurry of tweets throughout the day on Wednesday, each a largely baseless claim that Democrats are somehow “finding” ballots in important battleground states to make up Biden’s early deficit. While this isn’t strictly false since mail-in votes counted later in the day did swing many of the tightest races toward Biden, it still badly mischaracterizes an electoral process that has been mostly hang-up free.
Such false rumors have had far-reaching effects. According to Politco.com, in the wake of Mr. Trump’s comments, far-right influencers have used the hashtags “#VoterFraud and #StealTheVote to garner more than 300,000 interactions,” further spreading the narrative that mass voter fraud is responsible for the results of the election.
As the Trump campaign continues to assess legal options and potential recounts in states like Wisconsin, the opportunity for voter fraud to take center stage is still very much a reality. Whether it will do so through a scandal contrived by President Trump–as his activity on Twitter seems to indicate–or a legitimate accusation as the election process reaches its close remains a developing story.
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