Donald Trump is coming into his third week of denying the US election outcomes, counting on his favorite social media platform to unfold broad and baseless claims.
He has tweeted that the presidency remains to be his to win, claiming the votes had been “rigged” and that the “Radical Left Democrats” are attempting to “STEAL the election” with their companion, “the Pretend Information Media”.
None of that is true.
Final week, he made a declare with a bit extra specificity. In sharing a report from a far-right information outlet, he alleged that an organization referred to as Dominion had deliberately “deleted 2.7 million votes nationwide”.
Trump‘s declare is simply as demonstrably false as saying he received the election, however the points on the coronary heart of the Dominion saga deserve a bit of debate.
What’s Dominion and what does it do?
Dominion Voting Programs is a Canadian firm headquartered in Denver, Colorado, which makes machines for casting and counting ballots, in addition to software program for election officers to trace outcomes.
In America’s decentralised voting system, choices about how one can bodily vote are left to states and particular person precincts.
There are a number of corporations that fill Dominion’s particular person area of interest, however most Individuals nonetheless vote utilizing paper ballots, and know-how is not noted of the method altogether.
Dominion offers case examine into the largest motive why: Know-how might be arduous to belief.
In Georgia’s early voting interval this October, the corporate’s machines had been blamed for inflicting hours-long traces.
Officers later clarified that the hold-up was seemingly a results of ballot employees’ lack of coaching on how one can use the machines, moderately than precise glitches.
Georgia was certainly one of a dozen states that trusted Dominion voting gear sufficient to include it into the 2020 normal election.
The know-how labored as supposed on election night time.
There was one recorded error with the machines in Antrim County, Michigan, the place ballot employees observed about 3,000 votes had been recorded incorrectly, which briefly made it appear to be Joe Biden had crushed Trump within the area.
However the error was caught and corrected early on. It had no influence on the general election outcomes.
And, like with Georgia, the state’s officers discovered it was a results of sincere human error — utilizing the mistaken software program operate — not malfeasance or malfunctioning machines.
Okay, then why is Trump saying votes bought deleted?
Trump tweeted a report from the far-right, One America Information Community (OANN), which has broadcast numerous falsehoods concerning the election outcomes — together with a state-by-state breakdown of what number of Trump votes had been “deleted” by Dominion machines.
OANN has been moderately mild on the small print, saying they plan to air a extra detailed report subsequent week.
The community mentioned their reporting relies on information from Edison Analysis. However the President of Edison Analysis mentioned he has no data of knowledge that helps the declare.
Trump has since tweeted no less than a dozen occasions about Dominion. He asserted a motive for the corporate by saying it was owned by “far-left Democrats”.
Trump‘s lawyer Rudy Giuliani claims to have an affidavit from a Dominion insider supporting the story, however has but to launch the doc.
Social media multiplied and mutated the preliminary story to the purpose the place some are actually claiming:
- Voters got everlasting markers to fill in ballots and trick the system
- Dominion has ties to the Venezuelan authorities
- The US navy has raided Dominion servers in Germany
All of those social media rumours are wildly unfaithful, to the purpose the place it is troublesome to pinpoint their supply.
Is there advantage to Trump‘s claims?
No. They have been denied by each election authority requested to remark.
Dominion has categorically denied that any votes had been modified or deleted by their techniques, and in a number of circumstances, confirmed the place the logic doesn’t add up.
For instance, a press release on the corporate’s web site reads:
“Claims that 941,000 votes for President Trump in Pennsylvania had been deleted are unattainable, as Dominion solely serves 14 Commonwealth counties.
“Collectively, these Counties produced 1.Three million votes representing a voter turnout of 76 per cent. Fifty-two per cent of these votes went to President Trump, which quantities to 676,000 votes the corporate’s system processed for the President in Pennsylvania.”
In Georgia, the place a laborious hand-recount of votes is going down, the Republican Secretary of State advised the Washington Submit that counties are already reporting that the hand recount of paper ballots matches the Dominion numbers completely.
The company that oversees election safety — the US Division of Homeland Safety’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Safety Company (CISA) — joined a nationwide coalition of presidency companies in placing out a press release unequivocally denying the claims.
“There is no such thing as a proof that any voting system deleted or misplaced votes, modified votes, or was in any means compromised,” the assertion reads.
They characterised the election as “essentially the most safe in American historical past”.
As for Trump‘s claims that Dominion is owned by Democrats — the corporate did make a one-time philanthropic donation to Invoice and Hillary Clinton’s non-profit in 2014, however the firm’s lobbyists have additionally donated to Republicans like Mitch McConnell.
The Clintons have zero stake in Dominion’s operations, each corporations confirmed to The Related Press.
Will any of this transformation the election end result?
This is only one of many false claims Trump and his allies have made concerning the election.
Like with the others, its solely path to tangible influence runs by the courts, an enviornment the place proof reigns.
However some election safety officers are hoping it would begin a dialog round actual vulnerabilities in US elections.
Certainly one of Trump‘s tweets disparaging Dominion included an previous video from NBC displaying the machines being taken aside at a convention referred to as the Voting Village, the place moral hackers expose vulnerability in particular person voting machines to induce officers to make them stronger.
Election safety officers have been warning in opposition to utilizing machines for years, not as a result of there’s documented proof to indicate they have been used to tamper with election outcomes, however as a result of any glitches may result in mistrust within the system.
It is one motive why most precincts nonetheless depend on paper ballots and, even counties that do use know-how, have choices for post-vote, human audits.
Forward of the 2020 election, the Democratic get together led a cost within the Senate to extend federal oversight of election distributors like Dominion.
The Republican get together blocked the invoice.
The vulnerabilities to the US voting system may be actual, however the exploitation of these vulnerabilities is not taking place fairly like Trump says.