Far too little election fraud to tip Trump election, AP says


FILE – Flags supporting President Donald Trump and one that says “Stop the Steal” are displayed during a protest rally January 4, 2021, at the Farm Boy Drive-In restaurant near Olympia, Washington. An Associated Press review in the six battlefield states disputed by former President Trump uncovered fewer than 475 cases of potential voter fraud, a tiny number that would have made no difference in the presidential election of 2020. Democrat Joe Biden won Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin and their 79 Electoral College votes by a total of 311,257 votes out of 25.5 million votes cast for the President. (AP Photo / Ted S. Warren, file)


An Associated Press review of every potential case of voter fraud in the six battlefield states disputed by former President Donald Trump found less than 475 – a number that would have made no difference in the election presidential election of 2020.

Democrat Joe Biden won Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin and their 79 Electoral College votes by a total of 311,257 votes out of 25.5 million votes cast for president. The disputed ballots represent only 0.15% of his margin of victory in those states.

The cases couldn’t question the result even though all of those votes were for Biden, which they weren’t, and even though those ballots were actually counted, which in most cases didn’t. was not.

The review also showed no collusion aimed at rigging the vote. Virtually every case was based on an individual acting alone to cast additional ballots.

“Voter fraud is virtually non-existent,” said George Christenson, election secretary for Milwaukee County in Wisconsin, where five people statewide have been charged with fraud on nearly 3.3 million ballots cast. “I would have to venture to guess it’s about the same chance as being struck by lightning.”

The PA review, a process that spanned months and encompassed more than 300 local election offices, is one of the most comprehensive reviews of suspicions of voter fraud in last year’s presidential election. It draws on information collected at the local level, where officials must reconcile their ballots and account for discrepancies, and includes a handful of separate cases cited by state secretaries and state attorneys general.

Contacted for comment, Trump reiterated a litany of unfounded fraud allegations he had previously made, but offered no new evidence that specifically contradicted the PA reports. He said an upcoming report from a source he would not disclose would support his case, and insisted that the increase in postal voting alone had opened the door to cheating involving ” hundreds of thousands of votes “.

“I don’t think you should be making a fool of yourself for saying 400 votes,” he said.

As he contemplates another presidential bid in 2024, Trump has embarked on some Republican primary contests, giving backing to those who mimic his ‘Stop Theft’ rhetoric and seeking revenge on those who opposed to his efforts to reverse the results.

False allegations of stolen elections fueled the murderous Jan.6 insurgency attempt on Capitol Hill and led to death threats against election officials that persist a year later.

The number of cases identified by local election officials and forwarded to prosecutors, local law enforcement or secretaries of state for further consideration undermines Trump’s claim. They also point out that there was no coordinated attempt to rig the elections. Instead, they overwhelmingly show individuals acting alone in an attempt to vote for a second ballot.

Among those responsible for the “massive electoral fraud,” Trump says he deprived him of a second term is a man from Wisconsin who mistakenly believed he could vote while on parole, an Arizona woman suspected of ‘sending out a ballot for his late mother and a man from Pennsylvania. who went to the polls twice – voting once for his own account and once for his son.

Election officials say that in most cases, those extra ballots were never counted because the workers did their job and removed them for inspection before being added to the count.

For its review, PA journalists in five states contacted about 340 election offices for details on each case of potential voter fraud identified as part of their post-election review and certification process.

Once the election is over, officials research voter records, request and review additional information if necessary from the state or other counties, and possibly decide to refer potential fraud cases for further investigation.

For Wisconsin, the AP relied on a state-compiled fraud investigation report and filed for public registration to get the details of each case, in addition to prosecutions that had failed. not initially reported to the state election commission. Wisconsin is the only one of the six states to have centralized accounting of all potential cases of voter fraud.

State by state details:

—ARIZONA: Authorities have investigated 198 possible fraud cases out of nearly 3.4 million votes cast, representing 1.9% of Biden’s margin of victory in the state. To date, nine people have been charged.

—GEORGIA: Election officials have identified 64 potential cases of voter fraud, representing 0.54% of Biden’s margin of victory. Of these, 31 were determined to be the result of an administrative error or other error. The state attorney general’s office is reviewing around 20 cases, but it is not known whether these overlap with those identified by local election officials.

—MICHIGAN: Authorities have identified 56 potential cases of electoral fraud, representing 0.04% of Biden’s margin of victory. Most of the cases involved two people suspected of submitting around 50 fraudulent requests for mail-in ballots in Macomb, Wayne and Oakland counties.

—NEVADA: Local authorities have identified between 93 and 98 potential fraud cases out of 1.4 million cast ballots, representing less than a third of 1% of Biden’s margin of victory. More than half of the total – 58 – were in Washoe County, which includes Reno, and the vast majority involved allegations of possible double voting.

—PENNSYLVANIA: Election officials in 11 of the state’s 67 counties have identified 26 possible cases of voter fraud, representing 0.03% of Biden’s margin of victory.

—WISCONSIN: Election officials referred 31 cases of potential fraud to prosecutors in 12 of the state’s 72 counties, accounting for about 0.15% of Biden’s margin of victory. After reviewing them, prosecutors declined to press charges in 26 of those cases.

Other cases of electoral fraud are still possible. Although the PA’s review shows such cases do occur, guarantees ensure that they are few and that they are caught, said Ben Hovland, a Democrat appointed by Trump to serve on the Commission. United States Election Assistance, which supports state and local officials who administer elections. .

“Every credible examination has shown that there was no widespread fraud” in the 2020 presidential election, Hovland said. “Time and time again, when we have heard these allegations and heard these allegations, and when you do a real investigation, you see that this is the exception and not the rule. ”


Associated Press data reporter Camille Fassett in Oakland, Calif., Contributed to this report; journalist Colleen Long in Washington; PA government reporters Scott Bauer in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin; Bob Christie in Phoenix; David Eggert in Lansing, Michigan; Anthony Izaguirre in Tallahassee, Florida; and Michelle L. Price in New York; and other AP reporters in Michigan and Pennsylvania.

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