Er … didn’t Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell promise to deliver this “big voter fraud information” by yesterday? Wasn’t that the point of the borderline-insane press conference in which Powell accused Republican candidates of paying off Dominion for their victories and Giuliani quoted My Cousin Vinny? They had the evidence in hand of a vast, communist-funded plot to steal millions of votes away from Donald Trump — or so they claimed on Thursday.
On Saturday, it’s still “stay tuned!”
Big voter fraud information coming out concerning Georgia. Stay tuned!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 21, 2020
Well, if they have the evidence as they claimed on Thursday, how long will we have to “stay tuned” to see it? Two weeks, Powell told Maria Bartiromo yesterday:
Trump campaign attorney Sidney Powell Friday claimed her team will be able to prove, in court, all of their claims concerning the election “within the next two weeks,” as “we have more than enough evidence now.”
“We have more evidence now than the present population is imprisoned on,” Powell told Fox Business’ Maria Bartiromo, while laughing off a statement from Dominion Voting Systems denying the attorneys’ claim that the company’s software was used to pull votes away from President Donald Trump and give them to Democrat challenger Joe Biden, and that the company had ties to Venezuela.
If they have that much evidence now, why isn’t the case in court already? Civil lawsuits don’t require a criminal evidentiary standard of “beyond a reasonable doubt.” All they require is a preponderance of evidence. Even if Team Trump needed to wait for certification to sue Georgia, they could file the case on Monday and present all of their evidence in court. Why wait two weeks?
Not by coincidence, the safe harbor date for electors is December 8 … just over two weeks out. The obvious impression is that Team Trump’s legal team doesn’t actually have any evidence of massive voter fraud, in Georgia or anywhere else. They’re stalling for time and using these wild claims to pressure state legislatures into tossing out valid election results, and are getting more desperate by the day to do so. They want legislatures to believe that they risk getting blindsided by this massive case of fraud unless they act now to invalidate elections.
Thursday’s presser now looks like a bluff to keep Georgia from certifying after the hand recount; if so, that strategy flopped. Last night, the Wall Street Journal’s editorial board — not exactly a bastion of progressive activism — pointed out the obvious conclusion from Georgia’s hand recount. The hand count of the printed ballots showed that the voting system performed accurately and without any significant evidence of fraud:
The Trump legal team is dismissing the Georgia recount, but notice its retreat. “This so-called hand recount went exactly as we expected,” lawyer Jenna Ellis said, “because Georgia simply recounted all of the illegal ballots that had been included in the total.” Hang on: At a press conference hours earlier, attorney Sidney Powell alleged, without showing evidence, that Dominion voting machines “run an algorithm, that probably ran all over the country, to take a certain percentage of votes from President Trump and flip them to President Biden.”
What happened to that claim? A hand recount is a perfect way to test it, if you remember how Georgia’s voting machines work: Residents make their choices on a touch-screen. The system then prints a paper ballot, with a text summary showing the candidates selected, which provides the voter a chance to confirm.
If software flipped Georgia’s electronic totals, there would be some big, unexplained discrepancy between those data and the paper ballots. The hand recount found nothing of the sort. Georgia also asked Pro V&V, a testing laboratory certified by the federal Election Assistance Commission, to audit a random sample of Dominion machines. No tampering was found.
Another Trump line is that Georgia’s recount didn’t reverify the signatures on absentee votes. But the secret ballot is a hang-up: Once ballots are removed from the envelopes, there’s no way to match them up again. That’s why signature verification comes first. For the record, Georgia says that 0.15% of ballots, or 2,011 votes, were rejected for signature problems this year, compared with 0.16% in 2018.
Let’s just repeat that process one more time. I’m not crazy about on-screen voting, but the Dominion system produces a paper ballot that the voter verifies is accurate before submitting. In order to prevail on claims of widespread algorithm-based fraud, Powell will have to show that the Dominion system somehow hypnotized those millions of voters into misreading their own ballots. The widespread-fraud claims are nonsense, and should be treated as such unless and until Powell et al show up in court and make argument with this supposed evidence, rather than holding press conferences and making TV appearances describing their case.
It’s not just Georgia where this is percolating, however. The Minnesota GOP did some throat-clearing on election “abnormalities” yesterday, too:
Election officials on Friday swiftly rejected claims by Minnesota Republican Party Chairwoman Jennifer Carnahan that “extreme data abnormalities” might have influenced the state’s Nov. 3 election after her examples proved to be nothing more than instances of high voter turnout. …
Nonpartisan election officials in Anoka and Wright counties, two main counties cited by Carnahan, said they found nothing that would call into question the integrity or validity of the vote. A Star Tribune analysis of Minnesota election data since 2000, for both presidential and gubernatorial elections, found nothing irregular about this year’s voting trends.
Carnahan’s attempt to sow doubt over the outcome of the 2020 election follows a coordinated and frantic final push by President Donald Trump and his allies to nullify its outcome through more than two dozen court challenges in battleground states, with 29 losses or dismissals so far.
“We’re just trying to shed light on some of the abnormalities we’ve seen,” Carnahan said Friday night. “And where it goes from there remains to be seen at this point.”
Carnahan is comparing only votes for Democrats in certain counties in 2012, 2016 and 2020, omitting turnout data from 2018 when Democrats also swept statewide races on the midterm ballot. Her analysis does not account for overall turnout shifts or whether similar patterns emerged in other parts of the state. In a separate Facebook post, Carnahan said she had been in touch with an attorney for Trump’s campaign before releasing her statement late Thursday.
Two facts make this amusing. First, Minnesota uses paper ballots for almost all of its voters, not on-screen voting systems; there are a few of the latter for special-needs voters, but are only used in those instances. The paper ballots are optical-scan forms that can be rapidly read and validated by machines made by at least three different manufacturers, although Dominion is one of them. Even the on-screen voting machines are split between four different manufacturers (again, Dominion is one of the four). The paper balloting system means easy recounts, by hand or by machine, or both.
Second: Donald Trump lost Minnesota by 233,000 votes and seven percentage points. Jason Lewis lost the Senate race by 168,000 votes. These elections weren’t close, and it’s not as if Minnesota was on a red-state bubble. Trump and the GOP can ask for a hand recount if they really think something is wrong. The fact that they haven’t pretty much means this is nothing but cheap demagoguery. Just as it is in Georgia.
Remember this: if attorneys aren’t making the argument in court, where they have to submit claims in good faith, their arguments aren’t worth anything. And even then, when they make the arguments in court, make sure to test their “evidence.” There’s a reason Team Trump is 2-29 this post-election season.