For someone notorious for twisting truth, Donald Trump outdid himself yesterday during a 15-minute speech about the 2020 election during the White House press conference.
As he stares down the barrel of defeat, the President is trying to do any and everything to undermine the nation's faith in its elections, including dangerous attempts to sway the course of democracy. His latest desperate resort to stay in office is accusing Democrats of trying to steal the election through fraudulent ballots. Here's why this isn't true.
Voter fraud is a myth (according to a Republican lawyer)
Trump's dramatic claim of rampant voter fraud has absolutely no foundation. In fact, this is a myth actively propagated by the Republican party that simply isn't true.
Benjamin Ginsberg, a veteran GOP lawyer who worked for the Republican National Committee and Republican political candidates for four decades, recently described systemic voter fraud is "the Loch Ness Monster of the Republican party ... People have spent a lot of time looking for it, but it doesn’t exist."
Writing for the Washington Post, Ginsberg explained that Trump's conspiracy that the election is rigged is untrue but unsurprising. “As he confronts losing, Trump has devoted his campaign and the Republican Party to this myth of voter fraud. Absent being able to articulate a cogent plan for a second term or find an attack against Joe Biden that will stick, disenfranchising enough voters has become key to his re-election strategy."
Mail-in votes are valid
The president has spent much of his campaign trying to undermine the validity of mail-in voting, claiming it would incite violence, inspire fraud, and undermine the system of laws – we have no idea where he gets this from. He pulled out all the stops to try and discourage the American public from voting by mail in the middle of a pandemic, meanwhile, he and more than a dozen of his senior-most aides and associates voted by mail themselves.
In fact, voter fraud is so rare in the United States that an analysis by the Brennan Center for Justice found Americans were more likely to be struck by lightning than to commit voter fraud. And there's simply no basis for the conspiracy theory that mail-in voting is more susceptible to fraud.
Counting all those ballots takes time
As for the ongoing vote count, there's nothing at all surprising about how long it's taking for battleground states such as Arizona, Nevada, Georgia, and Pennsylvania to complete the count of all votes cast.
In fact, delayed election results prove the system is actually working. There is absolutely nothing in the Constitution or any federal law that mandates a winner of the election is declared on Election Day. In 2000, for example, the winner wasn't declared until December 12 – more than a month after Election Day.
The coronavirus has fundamentally altered the math on how votes are counted. Notably, roughly 46 million people voted earlier in 2016, while more than 100 million did so in 2020. This change in how America votes ensured that the tabulation process would be slower than in recent elections.
As CNN put it: "When you double the number of early votes and keep the same rules in place about when and how they will be counted (and the same or fewer number of election officials to count them), what we are seeing this [election] is to be expected."
There is no nefarious plot underway to elect Biden
So, no, Trump, there is no secret conspiracy developed by Biden and the Democratic party to get you out of office. Perhaps, just perhaps, a lot of people simply don't want you to be their president anymore.