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We may as well face facts: You haven’t actually read my 70 or so pages of detailed analysis of election fraud allegations, have you? Well, you could always go here for the big post (or, for off-Ricochet, here) and read it all very slowly, followed by the other parts of the series.
But, again, we may as well face facts: You’re not really going to do that, are you? So here’s something easier: A shorter, manageable introduction to just eight interesting claims. We’ll start with my three favorite claims that didn’t pan out; then we’ll cover four claims I think should be taken seriously (ok, three claims and one set of claims); and then we’ll look at one claim that raises more questions than answers for me.
This is only a short a sample. There’s lots more fun in the original big post, and more details on the eight claims here! (You can just go there and CTR+F for key words.)
The Best Ratio of Entertainment-to-Likelihood: the Hammer and Scorecard!
Some Trumpists, including our illustrious ex-President, ran with every supposed Kraken sighting like it was Mary Magdalene saying “I have seen the Lord” or John saying “These things stand written so that ye may know.”
I think my overall favorite fraud flop–say that five times fast!–is Hammer and Scorecard: a magnificent conspiracy in which the CIA not only has the supercomputer the Hammer, and not only has the election-stealing Scorecard software–but also hacks into the Dominion machines so the Deep State itself can steal the election!
And that’s not even the best part.
The miniature civil war on foreign territory in which the US military has a gunfight with the CIA and liberates one of their servers–yeah, that was the best part.
The best I can say for this theory, beyond its immense entertainment value, is that the evidence for it is somewhat better than I would have expected–among other details, at least one person I deem reliable, Lucretia on the Powerline podcast, seems to think the Hammer at least exists.
Better than I would have EXPECTED, I say–but not good enough! I can’t say it ain’t possible, but I’m pretty sure it ain’t true.
The Second-Best Ratio: the Philly Mob Boss!
A close second for me would be the one about the Philadelphia mafia boss who manufactured hundreds of thousands of fake Biden ballots for money.
As I understand it, the Buffalo Chronicle, which reported this, is not a real newspaper. Even if it were, more evidence would be needed. Such sordid deeds would have put to shame the Michael Corleone of The Godfather II. For something like this, we need better evidence than what amounts to, “Some anonymous criminal told one of our guys that this happened and how amazing it all was!”
A+ for entertainment value, but not even a passing grade as far as evidence is concerned.
It Looked Good at First: 173,000 Votes without Registration in Michigan
I think my third-favorite election fraud allegation that didn’t pan out is the one about 173,000 votes without voter registrations in Michigan.
Much less entertaining than the last two, but what it lacks in entertainment value it made up for in actually looking good at first glance: MI really was reporting all these votes in precincts where no one was registered to vote! (Steven Crowder may have been the first to notice it, but others picked it up, and it was included in the Peter Navarro compilation.)
From what I can gather, MI reported these 173k votes in their Absent Voter Counting Boards–and no wonder that there were no registrations, because an AVCB is an artificial and temporary precinct for counting absentee ballots. They correspond to REAL precincts, which I daresay actually had the corresponding voter registration information.
Blame MI for a lack of clarity if you like, but this doesn’t look like mass election fraud to me.
The Best of the Best Claims: Mark Davis in Georgia
Now what allegations of election fraud or other shenanigans seem to actually hold water? Let’s start with the work of Mark Davis in Georgia, which I would classify as the best of the best. (Also a claim getting a somewhat wider audience now that The Federalist is reporting on it.) Here’s only part of Davis’ work.
In Georgia, if you move to a different county, you can’t vote in your old county. (There’s a grace period of 30 days.) Moving out of state: Same (or very similar) rules. And it turns out some people break that law. You can track them by comparing the GA voter records with the US federal Post Office records—because they filed Change of Address forms.
But what about people who were just moving to college for a bit, or moving temporarily to a military base? No problem; Davis just didn’t count them—not anyone who was moving to a college or military address.
Oh, but he counted alright!
About 15,000 who moved out of state voted absentee in their old county in violation of the law. Another 35,000 who moved in-state did the same. (The Biden margin of victory in GA: about 12,000.)
It gets better. After people change counties within the state, they eventually get around to updating their address for their GA driver’s license, thus confirming their long-term move and confirming that they did indeed vote illegally. When I spoke with Davis in early May, he’d tracked about 10,500 of these confirmations (from the 35,000 group, not from the 15,000 group), with more coming in every day (at a then-average rate of 57 per day).
Evidence that Biden’s team stole the election? No. (I don’t know how many of these illegally cast votes were for Biden. Davis himself made a point of not checking!)
Evidence that we have serious election integrity issues in the USA? Yes. Evidence that the GA results should not have been certified? So I am told–as specified in Georgia law when illegal votes exceed the margin of victory.
The Biggest Numbers, but Dang If It Ain’t Just Sociology!
Now for the Just Facts Daily claim. The idea is pretty simple: Some non-citizens manage to vote illegally in American elections, and you can get an estimate of how that affected the 2020 election using the number of non-citizens in a swing state in 2020 and sociological research on how non-citizens voted in past elections–how many voted, and by what margins they voted for Democrats.
The result: a Biden advantage of illegally cast votes more than double his margin of victory in both Arizona and Georgia!
The major weaknesses of this allegation:
–It’s nothing you could take to court. It’s not criminal forensics. It’s sociology.
–It’s based on past sociological research, of which there is probably not nearly enough and which is, in any case, fallible.
The major strengths of this allegation:
–It’s still a strong inductive argument: Given the premises, the conclusion is probable but not guaranteed.
–If the Biden margin of victory in AZ and GA was actually larger than the number of illegally cast votes in this category, then there would have to be something so dramatically wrong with the research that its estimates were more than double what they should have been! That is possible, but not very likely. (The only alternative I can see is that maybe there is some reason non-citizens were less likely to illegally vote Democrat over Republican in 2020 than in previous elections.)
This is not good evidence that an election should have been overturned—sociology, not forensics. But it is good evidence that America needs to clean up its elections, and that votes cast illegally could plausibly make a real difference in national elections. It also gives some degree of support to the conclusion that votes illegally cast or counted actually did exceed the Biden margin of victory in at least two swing states. (Unlike the Davis research in GA, this argument supports the conclusion that illegally cast Biden votes exceeded the margin of victory in these two states.)
Something To Take Seriously, but I’d Like to See It Verified
One interesting set of claims comes from the work of Jesse Binnall in Nevada. Some of his work uses the same methodology as Mark Davis of Georgia, which impresses me—and that affects about 19,000 Nevada votes. His other investigations affect about 43.5 thousand votes.
That said, I’ve never met Binnall, I know a bit less about him than about Davis, and I have not heard that the error-checks applied by Davis have been applied by Binnall.
Let’s Not Leave Out the Chain of Custody Issues
Here are a few:
–30,000 ballots with chain of custody issues in Michigan,
–about 110,000 ballots with chain of custody issues in Pennsylvania (including 60,000-70,000 that apparently disappeared),
–and about 28,900 ballots in Fulton County, Georgia, with chain of custody issues.
The PA 110,000 claim relies on the testimony of Gregory Strensrom. As I recall, he mentioned in his testimony that a Democratic co-observer saw (at least some of) the same things. Obviously, there should be follow-up with this other guy; but I don’t know if anyone ever did follow-up.
The Fulton Co. 28,900 are actually the result of official state investigations.
Similarly, the 30,000 number for Michigan is a low estimate of some ballots which an important report from the Michigan Senate Oversight Committee concluded were not fraud as such. However, instead of announcing “No chain of custody issue here!” the report actually took the case as a reason to strongly emphasize the importance of keeping the chain of custody clean.
In other words, the report does not explicitly confirm that there is a chain of custody issue here, but it does not refute it and may be taken as implying a confirmation.
Would these ballots without a clean chain of custody involve some foul play? Some massive incompetence? Some of both? Hard to say for sure. But this is more evidence that the election was, in many places, a mess and that there were significant numbers of improperly managed ballots.
And What’s Up With All the Zombies?
Finally, a very serious allegation that, I deem, needs some real clarification. I’ve come across some interesting claims about the dead voting:
–as many as 17,327 zombie votes in Michigan based on comparing obituaries to voting records,
–40,000 in Pennsylvania by the same method,
–9,500 in Michigan by comparing Social Security Death Index records to voting records,
–another 1,500 in Nevada,
–and more than 8,000 in Georgia.
On the one hand, comparing voting records to obituaries and SSDI seems like a reliable method to me. You can explain away some of these zombie votes as typos or as genuine voters having the same names as their parents, but it does not seem likely that all 9,500-17,327 in Michigan were such cases.
But, on the other hand, here’s another method that looks pretty reliable: That important report in Michigan “Researched the claims of deceased individuals having a vote cast in their name by reviewing obituaries, various online databases, social media posts, as well as speaking with individuals who made the claims or were the subject of those claims.” Now these guys didn’t check 9,500 or more possible cases, but they did check over 200, and they did not find a single confirmed zombie voter.
0 out of more than 200 is a small sample set, but a heckuva ratio.
Also, Mark Davis in Georgia isn’t worried much about zombie voters.
I honestly have no idea what to make of all this. I suppose it’s possible someone somewhere is lying about something, but, absent dishonesty, I have no explanation for why these seemingly reliable methods would produce such dramatically different results in Michigan.
Do you know more? I’d like to learn if you do.
Now What about That Line I Like from Bible?
That would be Ecclesiastes 12 in the KJV: “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter.”
Unfortunately, it’s probably still too soon for that! (I used the line myself to title an earlier essay on this topic–silly me!)
But here are some preliminary and very cautious conclusions:
There are several variations of “The election was stolen!” theories that are unproven at best. However, election fraud and related issues should be taken very seriously. There is actually some evidence that votes illegally cast or improperly counted measure up well to the Biden margin of victory in multiple swing states, even exceeding it in some cases. We still need to learn a lot more about what happened in 2020, and we need to do better securing future elections.Published in