U.S. Election: Fact check hasn't put on pants, rumors have spread to thousands of homes

Release your eyes, put on headphones, and listen~!

2020The endless and endless fake news that came in during the US election in XNUMX is a nightmare for fact checkers.

Putting aside opinions and positions, verifying objective facts is a prerequisite for serious attention to a big news.In the post-truth era, the overwhelming false news does not pursue a complete and logically clear story, but is composed of various pieces of information that are updated extremely quickly.The information does not pursue logical consistency, but pursues emotional unity.

A single piece of false news is easily falsified, or convicted of insufficient evidence, but through the repeated erosion of the information flow and mutual citations between false news, wind and rain help the wind and power, and together in the field of public opinion Converge into a torrent.

The formation of this stormy narrative makes the preventive effect of fact-checking almost ineffective.

E.g11Month4DetroitTCFThe chaos and conflicts that occurred in the counting center quickly became false news that Republican scrutineers were not allowed to enter the counting center.This false news was quickly clarified by multiple independent fact-checking agencies, but it did not affect it as an obscure source of election fraud (for example, the followingTrey Trainor,After being denied again, it entered a litigation file full of chaotic descriptions, as the latest evidence found to gain power again.

The ambiguity of facts and opinions in the post-truth era made this kind of repeated verification and clarification itself regarded as a stand and standing in line.

But the rumor that should be refuted still has to be refuted.

What this article will check is a widely spread message:

The chairman of the US Federal Election Commission announced that there were a lot of fraud in this election, and the election results announced by the media were invalid.

This source has only 5 minutes and 52 seconds of video, and this article uses more than 6000 words to verify its details.Such length has far exceeded the optimal length of article dissemination in the Internet age.But there is no way.

This is the dilemma of our time.


Recently, the United States Federal Election Commission, an organization that has always been unknown, suddenly became famous.The public opinion circle has circulated: "The Chairman of the Federal Election Commission of the United States stated today that there was a lot of fraud in the election and the election results announced by the media were invalid."


Conclusion: TreyTrainor, chairman of the U.S. Federal Election Commission, did accept an interview and believed that there was fraud in the election, but he did not provide any definite evidence. The allegations he made in the video came from rumors that had long been clarified on the Internet.This interview is not an official statement of the US Federal Election Commission, and other committee members have different opinions.Moreover, the US Federal Election Commission is not responsible for overseeing the vote counting of the general election, let alone announcing the results of the general election.

Specific verification process:

A simple Google search can reveal that the source of this news is an interview with Newsmax.


This article verifies this information in two parts:

1 Whether the identity of the person interviewed in the incident is true, whether it is an official statement, and whether the organization to which he belongs has legal jurisdiction over the matter.

2 What allegations were raised during the interview and whether corresponding evidence was provided.Are these allegations themselves followed up by corresponding legal procedures?


XNUMX. Identity of interviewee and organization

Trey Trainor is indeed the chair of the Federal Election Commission (FEC).他由特朗普提名,经参议院确认后于2020年5月19号正式就职,6月18日成为FEC 2020年余下时间的主席(Chair一职每年在各成员之间轮流)。不过此人一直以来都是特朗普的坚定支持者,并且在2016年担任特朗普竞选活动以及共和党全国委员会律师。


Trey Trainor is not speaking in the official name of FECThe committee member, Democrat Ellen L. Weintraub, also publicly expressed the opposite opinion.The role of FEC is limited to the supervision of campaign-related financial funds., No jurisdiction over the counting of votes, And the committee is currently unable to perform most of its supervisory and decision-making functions because it does not have a quorum.


The United States is a federal system, and elections are held by local governments at all levels.At the federal level, the Department of Homeland SecurityCybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) Responsible for assisting states and regions to ensure the security of election infrastructure;United States Election Assistance Council (ECA)Responsible for compiling guidelines for national election voting in compliance with the U.S. voting law, but neither of these has jurisdiction.
On November 11, CISA, in conjunction with ECA and other federal and local organizations related to election work, issued an official public statement, emphasizing that "the election on November 12 is the safest election in American history."1


The "Rumor Control" section of CISA's official website will be updated related to the general election, such as rumors of dead people voting.Related pages:https://www.cisa.gov/rumorcontrol


XNUMX. The specific allegations involved in the interview

In the nearly 6-minute TV interview, TreyTrainer and the host expressed 4 allegations of election fraud.They will be checked one by one below.


  • Trump supporters are not allowed to enter the counting center to supervise the counting of votes.Even if you are allowed to enter, you cannot supervise at 6 feet in accordance with the law
  •  Ten thousand people who do not live in Nevada voted in Nevada
  • A video appears to show that the vote counter is handwriting the ballot
  • The president's advantage in the Democrats' control of the state disappeared at 11 a.m. on November 4


1 Trump supporters are not allowed to enter the counting center to supervise the counting of votes.Even if you are allowed to enter, you cannot supervise at 6 feet in accordance with the law

Trey Trainor did not provide the corresponding evidence, so it was unable to conduct targeted verification.


But this is indeed a type of accusation that has spread extremely widely.As early as before the election, Trump believed that Democrats were trying to manipulate the election and repeatedly called on supporters to become scrutineers at his campaign rallies.For example, at a rally in North Carolina on September 9, he urged supporters to scrutinize votes to "witness all thefts, thefts and robberies."2"During the election scrutiny, a lot of video images related to the scrutiny were also circulated on the Internet. This article selects the two most popular ones.


A Penn State Voting Center does not allow ticket scrutineers to enter


In a tweet, Trump claimed that the scrutineers were obstructed and therefore could not complete the ticket checking in any way, and in another Weibo, he emphasized that Pennsylvania was obstructing the work of legal scrutineers.

There is no corresponding evidence for this allegation.

Pennsylvania's original scrutineer can scrutinize votes within 20 feet (about 6.1 meters) from the counting point. On November 11th, the Trump campaign won the case in Pennsylvania, and the distance between the scrutineer and the counter was reduced to less than 5 feet (6 meters).At the court hearing on the same day, the judge asked Trump’s campaign lawyer, Jerome Marcus, whether the vote counting center would allow Trump scrutineers to enter. Jerome Marcus replied very awkwardly: “The number of people in the room is not zero.” (There's a non-zero number of people in the room).City officials also told the judge that there was a Trump scrutineer in the room.Therefore, there is no situation where the scrutineers of one party are collectively refused to enter the counting center.Magistrate Paul Diamond also rejected the Trump campaign’s injunction to suspend the counting of votes.3.

On November 2020, 11, Republican scrutineer Ed White and Democrat scrutineer Janne Kelhart scrutinized votes at the Allentown Voting Center in Pennsylvania.Associated Press Filming


B. TCF Counting Center in Detroit, Michigan, is chaotic


In another widely circulated Twitter, Trump released a video showing a large piece of cardboard covering a window in a vote counting center in Detroit.

Trump Twitter showed that the staff of the TCF Counting Center in Detroit were using cardboard to block outsiders from watching the inside of the counting (https://bit.ly/3ltx41V


This is not to prevent the scrutiny of votes, there are already enough bipartisan scrutineers in the counting center.Cardboard is used to block external harassment.

Due to the tense atmosphere of the scrutineers and the counting staff on the vote-counting day of the general election, the TCF Counting Center in Detroit once had chaos outside the venue, which has become the focus of many rumors, and there are also a large number of live videos circulating.


However, this is not evidence of election fraud.The Detroit Electoral Commission Lawrence Garcia explained that according to state law, each political party or independent organization in the TCF Counting Center cannot have more than 134 scrutineers. However, due to the rush of the on-site organization, the internal personnel far exceeded the number, so the center was suspended. Accept new scrutineers (including Republicans and Democrats) until the number of internal scrutineers drops back to 134 from each party.The crowd waiting outside believed that the counting center deliberately blocked the Republican scrutineers from entering, shouting the slogan "Stop counting votes," and recording the image of the counting people from the outside, causing dissatisfaction and panic among the insiders, so they chose to use cardboard to block their sight.And this further aroused the dissatisfaction of the outside waiting staff and the fear of fraud in the general election, so they began to slap the glass.The spread of hostility has also confirmed the impression that many scrutineers have fraud in the general election.In the whole process, there have been no less than the legal number of Republican scrutineers (134) in the TCF counting center.4.


On November 11th, the Trump campaign announced a 10-page Michigan election lawsuit, most of which consisted of the testimony of the scrutineers, a large number of which repeated the chaotic scenes of the day: such as not allowing the Republican scrutineers Enter; the 342-foot distance regulation is too far for the scrutineers; the staff of the counting center is unfriendly to them, etc., the scrutineers are suspicious of a procedure, etc.Related litigation is still ongoing, but many legal professionals said that it is difficult for such testimony to make a difference at the court level because of the lack of concrete evidence. 6


On November 11, Michigan Judge Timothy Kenny rejected the request of the Republican vote scrutineer to stop the certification of Michigan election results. In the 14-page judgment, he stated that the plaintiff lacked understanding of the TCF absentee ballot counting process and was aware of the incident. The description is neither correct nor credible.7



2 Ten thousand people who do not live in Nevada voted in Nevada

The allegation was announced by the Trump campaign team at a press conference outside the Las Vegas campaign headquarters on November 11.The team said it would initiate a lawsuit to ensure that only "legal" votes are counted.The team also stated that at least 5 people who do not live in Nevada voted in Nevada.8

The litigation information was first released by Fox News

The Trump team did not provide relevant evidence, and there is no follow-up news of the lawsuit.On the same day, the team filed a lawsuit, arguing that the mail voting certification process for more than 3000 unqualified voters was not rigorous.The lawsuit was dismissed by Nevada District Court Judge James Gordon the following day without sufficient evidence.9


On November 11, Trump campaign lawyers released an anonymous list of 8 people10, Claimed that a search of the change of address database revealed that these people still voted improperly in the state after they moved out of the state.However, the information obtained by this rough search method is far from being directly used as evidence of fraud.The American Civil Liberties Union investigated the list and found that among these changed addresses, at least 129 army/air force post offices, 13 fleet post offices, and 15 diplomatic post offices were military bases.And many addresses are located near the military center.11


Election officials in the Nevada Central stated that in accordance with the laws of the state, residents in the state have the right to vote in the state even if they are outside the state, such as students, military personnel, military spouses, or work in other states. But intends to return to the state to live.


Therefore, the list itself cannot be used as evidence of election fraud.


3 A video appears to show that the voter is handwriting the ballot

Trey Trainor showed a video in the interview in which four vote-counters appeared to be manually filling in ballots.This video was widely spread on the Internet and was considered evidence of election fraud.

The so-called election fraud video spread online https://twitter.com/realannapaulina/status/1324561809274265601


But this is the normal operation flow in the counting process.

This video shows the counting of votes at the counting center in Delaware County, Pennsylvania.The county will provide real-time live ticket counting from November 11.This clip is taken from the live video.In the video, the staff manually transcribe the damaged ballots that cannot be read by the machine onto the blank ballots for correct counting.Moreover, the whole process is also under the supervision of the scrutineers from both parties.12


In fact, Trey Trainor also mentioned the above reasons in the interview, but at the same time stated without evidence that if the staff just fills in the blank ballots, then it is election fraud.

Obviously, this speculation cannot constitute a valid accusation.


4 The president's advantage in the Democratic control of the state disappeared at 11 a.m. on November 4

This statement also comes from Trump's own Twitter.In Twitter on the 5th, Trump thought that his own advantages had disappeared one by one in the states controlled by Democrats.

Trump Twitter

This allegation also did not provide any evidence.

In fact, because of the difference in the timing of invoicing in the red and blue counties of the swing states and the difference in the types of votes, it is not surprising that such an invoicing trend appeared in the US election.Before the election, Sanders also pointed out the potential dangers that this trend will cause.13 In addition, there are six key swing states. The governors and parliaments of Georgia and Arizona are all Republicans. Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan have Republican legislatures. Only the governor and parliament of Nevada are all controlled by Democrats.It is not all controlled by the Democratic Party as Trump said.


However, although the interview did not provide relevant evidence, there are indeed rumors on the Internet that there was an abnormal surge in Biden's votes at 11 am on November 4.The following are the two most widely spread:


A. Michigan increased by hundreds of thousands of votes overnight?

Misleading screenshots circulated on the Internet show that Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden received 138339 votes in Michigan overnight, while the other candidates got nothing.

Biden did not receive XNUMX mysterious votes in Michigan.This is an entry error in the state government's update of the counting data. This error has been corrected in time.

The news was first posted on Twitter by Matt Mackowiak, the founder of a Republican political communication company, and was shared by Trump a day later, and spread virally on the Internet.

Related tweets first released by Matt McCowiak


The screenshots quoted by Twitter come from Decision Desk HQ (DDHQ), a non-partisan news data analysis website. DDHQ grabs data from government vote-counting websites at all levels. Many media outlets use DDHQ data to update their own invoicing website pages.



Data source from AFP fact Check14


Clarification of DDHQ15


In addition, the originator of the tweet, Matt McCowiak, also deleted the original tweet and issued a correction.

Matt McCowiak said that he recognized that the Michigan update was caused by a data uploader error, so he deleted the original post




B The weird blue line in Wisconsin?

A graph widely circulated on the Internet shows that Biden's vote suddenly soared in the early hours of November 11th as evidence of the Democratic Party's cheating.This picture was immediately evolved into various emoticons and Meme viral spread.


The picture is true, but the interpretation is incorrect.The sudden increase in the number of votes for Biden was due to the fact that the results of the US election count were announced in stages, and Trump's vote count also had a similar phenomenon.


The screenshot of the picture comes from an election analysis by FiveThirtyEight.16。这张图表确实显示了威斯康星州11月4号凌晨6点前拜登得票的上升,该跃升是因为11月4号凌晨3:56分密尔沃基县公布了缺席投票结果。


Because of the continued negative publicity of the Republican Party on the absentee ballot before the election, Democratic supporters are more likely to vote for the absentee ballot than the Republican Party.


在美联社的报道中,从凌晨3点26分到3点44分,拜登的选票增加了149520张(占拜登总票数的9.2%),特朗普的选票增加了31803张(占他总票数的2%)。密尔沃基县构成了拜登选票增长的主要动力。17Since Milwaukee and 38 other communities used a central counting location, these counts were reported at the same time.Behind the blue line shown in the chart, Trump's votes also rose slightly.But because the proportion is not high enough, it is covered by the blue line.


This sudden jump in votes is very common, both in Biden's votes and in Trump's votes.


Iowa, Kansas, Montana, Ohio and other states all experienced sudden jumps during the counting process.18


At the end of the video, Trey Trainor stated that the state is responsible for the election, and the FEC has no jurisdiction over this, so he cannot obtain evidence other than publicly circulated information on the Internet.But in his own opinion, he believes that the existing various lawsuits are sufficient to prove the validity of the fraud allegations.


TreyTrainor has the right to hold its own opinions,Although all the allegations he made did not present convincing evidence at the same time.

This farce of vote counting in the general election has not so much exposed the flaws of the American electoral system as it has exposed its profound political crisis.It is not the first time Trump has accused election fraud. It is his long-standing habit to denounce unhappy election results as fraud. As early as the 2016 Republican election, he once accused Ted Cruz of cheating and stealing. He won the victory in Iowa and demanded the cancellation of the election results.

And this kind of skepticism about the extremely low requirements for evidence was finally implanted in enough people's hearts under the tide of truth four years later.Before the election, a large number of voters firmly believed that there must be fraud in the election. Without understanding the relevant election process, they continued to challenge all system details and traditions with this belief.

A good democracy must be built on deep and broad consensus.How long can such a consensus last in the midst of such constant whirling and self-substantiated doubts?


1 https://www.cisa.gov/news/2020/11/12/joint-statement-elections-infrastructure-government-coordinating-council-election

2 https://electionlawblog.org/?p=114948

3 https://whyy.org/articles/trump-asks-federal-court-to-stop-vote-counting-in-phiadelphia/

4 https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/elections/2020/11/06/detroit-michigan-voter-videos/6181809002/

5 https://www.businessinsider.com.au/trump-michigan-election-lawsuit-poll-watchers-social-distancing-complaints-2020-11?r=US&IR=T

6 https://twitter.com/ThisAlexTin/status/1324351774145286145

7 https://thehill.com/regulation/court-battles/525900-michigan-judge-rejects-gop-effort-to-halt-countys-vote-certification

8 https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/election-2020-trump-campaign-election-lawsuits-stand/story?id=74041748

9 https://s.wsj.net/public/resources/documents/NV%20Moved%20Voters%20(1).pdf

10 https://www.wsj.com/articles/nevada-election-results-the-3-000-challenged-votes-11604863720

11 https://www.cbsnews.com/news/viral-videos-do-not-show-election-fraud-evidence-donald-trump-joe-biden/

12 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xyGr_huFMh4&feature=emb_logo

13 https://twitter.com/DecisionDeskHQ/status/1324127513178710021

14 https://factcheck.afp.com/human-error-michigan-county-vote-tally-sparks-claims-election-fraud

15 https://archive.is/uudbQ

16 https://fivethirtyeight.com/live-blog/2020-election-results-coverage/294218/?amp

17 https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/factcheck/2020/11/04/fact-check-no-fraud-wisconsin-overnight-vote-spike/6167188002/

18 https://twitter.com/laurabronner/status/1323891133353660418?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1323891133353660418%7Ctwgr%5Eshare_3&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Ffactcheck.afp.com%2Fwisconsin-vote-surge-was-not-fraud

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