I can’t believe we’re more than a year removed from the election and efforts are still ongoing to convince people that a candidate who lost the popular vote in his first national run, never had 50 percent job approval as president, got impeached, helmed the country during a pandemic that killed hundreds of thousands of people, and was regarded as a boorish loose cannon even by his admirers might have legitimately lost to a well-known generic Democrat.
And not by a lot. By a few thousand votes in some states. Yet it seems unfathomable to some that it could have happened, starting with the man who lost.
The AP assigned at least eight reporters and many months of research across hundreds of local election offices to this impressive but totally futile project. They went district by district across Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Nevada, Arizona, and Georgia to see how many cases of potential voter fraud had been identified by local authorities in each. Were there enough suspect votes to account for Biden’s margin in any of them? Answer: Not remotely. “The disputed ballots represent just 0.15% of his victory margin in those states.”
Won’t matter. The point of the gassy conspiracy theories about rigged voting machines is that devotees realize piecemeal fraud could never happen to a large enough degree to flip a state unless it’s “Florida 2000” close, which none of the states won by Biden were. There has to be some unified field theory of massive under-the-radar vote-rigging in which ballots are switched en masse by the thousands or millions to explain those margins. That’s why all conspiracy roads ultimately lead back to Dominion and Smartmatic. Maggie Haberman is right, though, that the AP analysis is useful in one respect. It challenges the suspicion that laws that were relaxed during the pandemic to make voting by mail easier meaningfully increased the amount of fraud at the polls. They didn’t.
Which is what we’d expect. After all, voter fraud at the individual level must be one of the stupidest crimes a human being could commit. You face serious prison time for casting an illegal ballot or small number of ballots that, to an almost statistical certainty, won’t decide the outcome of the race. It’s like holding up a store cashier and demanding a nickel from the cash register. The profit from the crime doesn’t remotely justify the risk of punishment.
“Voter fraud is virtually non-existent,” said George Christenson, election clerk for Milwaukee County in Wisconsin, where five people statewide have been charged with fraud out of nearly 3.3 million ballots cast for president. “I would have to venture a guess that’s about the same odds as getting hit by lightning.”…
Experts say to pull off stealing a presidential election would require large numbers of people willing to risk prosecution, prison time and fines working in concert with election officials from both parties who are willing to look the other way. And everyone somehow would keep quiet about the whole affair…
AP’s review found the potential cases of fraud ran the gamut: Some were attributed to administrative error or voter confusion while others were being examined as intentional attempts to commit fraud. In those cases, many involved people who sought to vote twice — by casting both an absentee and an in-person ballots — or those who cast a ballot for a dead relative such as the woman in Maricopa County, Arizona. Authorities there say she signed her mother’s name on a ballot envelope. The woman’s mother had died a month before the election.
The only one of the six swing states that had more than 100 cases of potential fraud was Arizona, where the AP found 198. Biden won the state by more than 10,000 votes. And of course, not every case of suspected fraud was committed by a Republican. Just last night, authorities in Florida announced that criminal charges had been filed against three residents of The Villages retirement community. All three reportedly cast one ballot in Florida and a second ballot in another state. All three were registered Republicans at the time of the election. They’re each facing a felony count punishable by up to five years in prison, having achieved absolutely nothing by their crime. Which is why hardly anyone ever bothers to commit it.
The AP asked Trump for comment about their results and he told them, “I just don’t think you should make a fool out of yourself by saying 400 votes,” promising that he had a report on voter fraud of his own coming soon from an unnamed source — which reminded me of this. Trump’s main election hobbyhorse is Georgia, probably because it’s a traditionally Republican southern state and therefore the one he most expected to win. Coincidentally, the Heritage Foundation released an “election integrity scorecard” today ranking all 50 states by the measures they take to ensure fairness and security. The number one ranking this year belongs to … Georgia. Brad Raffensperger crowed about it in an interview with NRO:
“I think time has shown that we are right,” Raffensperger said when asked about Trump’s allegations. “We followed the law. We followed the Constitution. I wrote a letter to Congress on Jan. 6. They’ve had it now for eleven months. Did you know not a single person, out of 435 congresspeople, not one of them has ever written and said, ‘Brad, we disagree with this point here, or we disagree with that point there.’ They know that we have the law on our side, we have the facts on our side.”
Raffensperger said more than 28,000 Georgia voters skipped the presidential ballot in the November 2020 election, but then voted in other down-ballot races.
“That tells you what really happened in Georgia,” he said.
Number one in election integrity, three recounts to verify the results, and just 64 suspicious ballots statewide identified by the AP. That’s Raffensperger’s record as secretary of state in Georgia. And his reward for it will be getting obliterated in his next primary by Trump toady Jody Hice. We deserve the leadership we get.