NATIONAL NEWS

EXPLAINER: Election Claims, And Why It’s Clear Biden Won

Jan 20, 2021, 5:46 AM
FILE  (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)...
FILE (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)
(Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

ATLANTA (AP) — As Democrat Joe Biden is sworn in Wednesday as the nation’s 46th president, Donald Trump’s most ardent supporters still believe Biden was not legitimately elected after Trump continues to argue the election was stolen.

There is no evidence of the widespread fraud that Trump and his allies have claimed. Republican and Democratic election officials have certified the election as valid. Courts have rejected lawsuit after lawsuit, and a clear majority of Congress has confirmed the final result despite a riotous mob earlier this month that sought to disrupt the process.

So who has claimed what, precisely? What’s the evidence that the 2020 election was valid and Biden is the duly elected president of the United States?

The ‘Most Secure’ Election In U.S. History

After a rocky primary season that played out during the coronavirus pandemic, election officials were determined to ensure voters could safely cast their ballots and ramped up operations to handle a massive influx of absentee ballots. Voting absentee has long been available in the U.S., with some states limiting it to certain voters, and the process has safeguards so any ineligible voter or voter casting multiple ballots is caught and prosecuted.

In many places, election officials added drop boxes for voters concerned about widespread mail delays. Others offered curbside voting and a few states opted to send ballots to all registered voters. Although Trump and his allies claimed these changes were designed to rig the election in favor of Democrats, Trump saw more people vote for him in 2020 than four years earlier and Republicans gained seats in Congress.

One of the changes that drew the most scrutiny was the expansion of absentee voting in Pennsylvania, but that was done prior to the pandemic and authorized in a law passed with bipartisan support through the state’s Republican-controlled Legislature.

State and local election officials have called the November election one of the smoothest in recent memory, with voting spread out across days and even weeks rather than a crush of people at polling places on Election Day. Even Trump’s recently departed attorney general, William Barr, said he saw no evidence of widespread fraud.

And the fact that so many people voted using a paper ballot, which guarantees a record in the event of a dispute, prompted a coalition of government and election security officials, including representatives of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s cybersecurity agency, to issue a statement calling 2020 the “ most secure ” election.

Work Reviewed, Results Certified

After voting ended, election officials counted the results and used various measures to verify the totals, such as looking at how many people checked in at each precinct and how many ballots were issued to ensure they add up. For mail ballots, election workers reviewed the voter’s registration to ensure they were eligible to vote and many states matched voter signatures against ones on file.

Any discrepancies were investigated, and results were presented to local election boards and eventually to the state to certify the results as accurate. This happened across the country largely without controversy, except for a few instances in which Republicans raised questions. In these cases, the concerns were dismissed as without merit and the elections certified.

In Georgia, Biden’s win was verified three times: with an initial count, a second conducted by hand and then a recount. The state also conducted an audit of voting machines to ensure the votes recorded electronically matched paper records submitted by voters. A limited review of voter signatures found no evidence of widespread illegal voting.

And ultimately, Republican and Democratic governors signed off on the results, including Trump allies Gov. Brian Kemp of Georgia and Gov. Doug Ducey of Arizona who both certified that Biden won their states.

Flood Of Litigation, Claims Of Fraud

Trump and his GOP backers have suffered loss after loss in the legal system, all the way up to the U.S. Supreme Court, as they sought to overturn the will of voters in a few states that Trump lost with unsubstantiated claims of widespread fraud. Their cases have drawn quick dismissals and scathing responses from judges, some of whom were appointed by Republicans or Trump himself:

— U.S. District Judge Timothy Batten in Georgia, an appointee of President George W. Bush, rejected a lawsuit alleging votes were manipulated in favor of Biden, saying “they want this court to substitute its judgment for that of two-and-a-half million Georgia voters who voted for Joe Biden and this I am unwilling to do.”

— U.S. Circuit Judge Stephanos Bibas, a former law professor appointed by Trump, wrote, “voters, not lawyers, choose the president. Ballots, not briefs, decide elections,” as his panel refused to grant a request to stop Pennsylvania from certifying its results.

In about 60 cases filed by Trump’s legal team and Republican allies, Trump notched just one small victory in a fight over the deadline to provide missing proof of identification for certain absentee ballots and mail-in ballots in Pennsylvania.

As his legal bids failed, Trump tried to enlist the help of elected officials in key states. He summoned Michigan lawmakers to the White House in an unsuccessful attempt to set aside the vote tally. He asked Georgia’s governor to convene the state legislature to overturn the results and told Georgia’s top elections official to “ find ” enough votes to sway the state in his favor.

Amid all the claims, it was noteworthy that they began and ended with the presidential contest. There have not been widespread calls to redo the entire election, which also included congressional and state legislative seats.

After Mob, Congress Confirms

The steady drumbeat of false claims about widespread fraud made it to the Capitol as Congress met to confirm Biden’s victory, with more than 100 GOP lawmakers supporting objections.

The meeting to complete the Electoral College tally is normally a routine step. But the process turned deadly as a mob of thousands of Trump supporters stormed the building. After the melee was cleared, lawmakers reconvened and confirmed the results before dawn the following day.

In a strong rebuke Tuesday, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said “ the mob was fed lies ” by Trump and others. “They were provoked by the president and other powerful people, and they tried to use fear and violence to stop a specific proceeding of a branch of the federal government,” McConnell said. He vowed a “safe and successful” inauguration of Biden.

___

Izaguirre reported from Charleston, West Virginia. AP reporter Alanna Durkin Richer contributed from Boston.

—-

Associated Press coverage of voting rights receives support in part from Carnegie Corporation of New York. The AP is solely responsible for this content.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

National News

...
Associated Press

CDC drops traveler health notices for individual countries

The CDC is doing away with notices about the COVID-19 risk of visiting specific countries.
1 day ago
WILMINGTON, NC - SEPTEMBER 23: Former President Donald Trump arrives at a Save America Rally at the...
Associated Press

Trump files $475 million defamation lawsuit against CNN

Former President Donald Trump has gone to court against CNN, a familiar target when he was president.
1 day ago
Search crews in Florida....
Mike Anderson

Rescue teams continue to find residents effected by Hurricane Ian

Search teams are helping oversee FEMA's efforts to search for those survivors, which is no easy task.
1 day ago
FILE photo...
REBECCA BOONE Associated Press

Idaho ordered to pay $2.5M to transgender inmate for legal fees

A federal judge has ordered Idaho and its prison medical care provider to pay more than $2.5 million in legal fees to a transgender inmate who sued after she was denied gender confirmation surgery.
1 day ago
surveillance image of possible shooter...
Associated Press

Killings of 5 men in California are related, police say

Rewards totaling $85,000 have been offered for information leading to an arrest in five fatal shootings since July in Stockton, California, that investigators believe are related.
1 day ago
OREM, UT - FEBRUARY 21: A bump stock is installed on an AK-47 at Good Guys Gun and Range on Februar...
Associated Press

Supreme Court rejects bump stock ban cases, one from Utahn

The Supreme Court says it won't take up two cases that involved challenges to a ban enacted during the Trump administration on bump stocks. Those are the gun attachments that allow semi-automatic weapons to fire rapidly like machine guns.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Hand turning a thermostat knob to increase savings by decreasing energy consumption. Composite imag...
Lighting Design

5 Lighting Tips to Save Energy and Money in Your Home

Advances in lighting technology make it easier to use smart features to cut costs. Read for tips to save energy by using different lighting strategies in your home.
Portrait of smiling practitioner with multi-ethnic senior people...
Summit Vista

How retirement communities help with healthy aging

There are many benefits that retirement communities contribute to healthy aging. Learn more about how it can enhance your life, or the life of your loved ones.
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to choose what MBA program is right for you: Ask these questions before you apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Cloud storage technology with 3d rendering drawer with files in cloud...
PC Laptops

How backing up your computer can help you relieve stress

Don't wait for something bad to happen before backing up your computer. Learn how to protect your data before disaster strikes.
young woman with stickers on laptop computer...
Les Olson

7 ways print marketing materials can boost your business

Custom print marketing materials are a great way to leave an impression on clients or customers. Read for a few ideas to spread the word about your product or company.
young woman throwing clothes to organize a walk in closet...
Lighting Design

How to organize your walk-in closet | 7 easy tips to streamline your storage today

Read our tips to learn how to organize your walk-in closet for more storage space. These seven easy tips can help you get the most out of your space.
EXPLAINER: Election Claims, And Why It’s Clear Biden Won