Instances of voting fraud in the 2020 presidential election were both extremely rare and entirely inconsequential, according to an exhaustive review conducted by the Associated Press.
The AP contacted roughly 340 election offices across six battleground states that broke for Biden by a combined 311,257 votes: Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Fewer than 475 of 25.5 million ballots cast were identified as fraudulent. Even if every illegal vote went to Joe Biden, that represents just 0.15% of the president’s margin of victory in those six contests.
However, the AP identified several instances of fraud perpetrated by Donald Trump supporters. Whatever the partisan motivation, the AP found that virtually all the bad actors worked independently, undermining Trump’s theory that there was a coordinated effort to steal the election.
“Election officials also say that in most cases, the additional ballots were never counted because workers did their jobs and pulled them for inspection before they were added to the tally,” reports the AP, which notes that their findings “build on a mountain of other evidence that the election wasn’t rigged, including verification of the results by Republican governors.”
“There is a very specific reason why we don’t see many instances of fraud, and that is because the system is designed to catch it, to flag it and then hold those people accountable,” Amber McReynolds, the founder of a voting non-profit, told the AP. More from the outlet:
AP’s review found the potential cases of fraud ran the gamut: Some were attributed to administrative error or voter confusion while others were being examined as intentional attempts to commit fraud. In those cases, many involved people who sought to vote twice — by casting both an absentee and an in-person ballots — or those who cast a ballot for a dead relative such as the woman in Maricopa County, Arizona. Authorities there say she signed her mother’s name on a ballot envelope. The woman’s mother had died a month before the election.
The cases are bipartisan. Some of those charged with fraud are registered Republicans or told investigators they were supporters of Trump.
Trump dismissed the AP’s findings and alluded to a forthcoming report that he claims will validate his repeatedly debunked conspiracy theories about the 2020 election.
A spokesperson for Biden’s White House told the AP, “Each time this dangerous but weak and fear-ridden conspiracy theory has been put forward, it has only cemented the truth more by being completely debunked — including at the hands of elections authorities from both parties across the nation, nonpartisan experts, and over 80 federal judges.”