US 2020 elections: widespread fraud?
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Last year my full attention was on Wuhan flu aka COVID-19 and I wasn't much interested in the US elections. But then, in early January after all fraud allegations had been thrown out by judges, a few senators still objected despite the risk of financial loss, see also here.
That caught my attention and I decided to have a closer look at those elections after all.
At least one third of Americans believe that their last election was stolen through illegal voting and fraud. Yet mainstream US news media hammered down that there was no evidence (NYT) (see also Wired), a stance that was largely diffused around the world. It is therefore hardly surprising that even Wikipedia portrays that mainstream claim as fact.
Election fraud is not uncommon in the USA and Rudy Giuliani set out the former president's case in a video that I found recently; in that reasonable sounding presentation he called it "the most fraudulently conducted election on the part of the Democrats in recent history". That makes me wonder, did he perhaps add "on the part of the Democrats" because of this instructive account of the election in which Bush won from Kerry? It almost reads like a playbook for the recent elections, complete with "Kerry had an insurmountable lead in the exit polls on Election Night -- and then everything flipped" and "The Washington Post immediately dismissed allegations of fraud as 'conspiracy theories'".
Similarly, you may recall accusations of election fraud in the 2016 Democratic Party pre-elections. See for example this Activist Post article on alleged voting fraud, with here the removed YouTube video and the poorly linked Democracy Now article. At that time not less than two reports concluded that on top of apparent manipulation of opinion in favor of Mrs Clinton, the Democratic Party primary results were changed due to vote fraud, see here and here.
Concerning the last presidential elections you may have heard about reports of irregular, illegal or suspect activity. Photo and video evidence abounds about such things. There were stories of widespread fraud on many levels, be it reports and affidavits about double voting, voting by too young or deceased persons, ballot box stuffing, ballot destruction, vote counting errors (that was a mirror of this dead link) and signed envelope spoliation, with 131 affidavits filed in just Michigan alone.
However, courts have mostly rejected the complaints (here's a reference to one small exception) and Attorney General Barr said that the U.S. Justice Department has uncovered no evidence of widespread voter fraud that could change the outcome of the 2020 election.
An interesting Australian article discusses the claim by Trump that judges refused to look at the evidence. One point I found strange: "Judge Brann noted that instead of suing their own counties for denying them that opportunity, the voters had chosen to sue other counties for not denying that right to their voters". According to Trump's legal team, those voters were legally barred and the competing voters were illegally allowed. It would have been illogical to sue a county for upholding the law.
When spitting through the presented evidence there and elsewhere, it slowly became clear to me that this is far too much information for a single person to handle. In view of the huge quantity of accusations it's only possible to check out a fraction of it - but that will be much better than nothing. In the end, I still checked out much more than intended. In what follows I'll limit myself to discussing some of the loosing party's allegations that suggest possible massive vote fraud, split up into two blog posts. It's my intention to next rework them into a Wiki Fact Check article.
SOME ALLEGED EVIDENCE OF WIDE SPREAD VOTE FRAUD OR ATTEMPTS TO COMMIT SUCH FRAUD -PART 1
claim: Historically unusual loss
While writing this blog post I came across a Christmas Time presidential video that repeated election fraud claims on YouTube - oh no, there we go again! -> found back on BitChute (about 14 minutes long starting at 0:55). Several of those claims are included here below (not "we won by a landslide" kind of claims).
Snopes confirms Trump's Christmas claim about the historically unusual loss of winning Iowa, Florida and Ohio but still loosing the country - apparently he finally got that one right, helped by Snopes.com! According to Snopes there was one precedent: Nixon won all three of those states in the 1960 general election but nevertheless still lost the presidency to Kennedy. Note that there is also doubt about the rise to power of JFK in 1960.
It's unclear to me how unlikely it is to win Iowa, Florida and Ohio and still loose the country; with so many states it may be easy to find such "unusual" coincidences.
claim: Pennsylvania disallowed a close observation of vote counting
This is also a quick one, as the facts are not contested. To the contrary, as Forbes described, Pennsylvania kept observers at a distance with legal force.
Is onlooking from a distance good enough to inspire confidence? The Detroit experience (next item) sheds some light on that.
claim: Not possible to properly challenge ballot counting in Detroit's TCF Center
The problem of proper oversight was also discussed in the Detroit Free Press. It shows a picture that looks quite damning, with a white panel that is being inserted over a glass door, apparently to prevent outside onlookers from watching. However the video underneath that picture suggests that it was meant to let the ballot counters do their work undisturbed.
The following sounds to me like a credible explanation: "While credentialed election challengers at a polling place can question a voter’s eligibility to vote, poll watchers cannot." And that "Hundreds of Democratic and Republican challengers were present in the counting area" also sounds credible. There was chaos, but that was mostly outside.
However, "challengers could freely roam the center and approach counters from up to 6 feet behind". That's a bit fuzzy. What matters is that at each table the counts were inspected by people of different political parties. I did find a video in which it seems that challengers did have reasonable access to the counting tables. On the other hand, this video interview of Braden Giacobazzi states just the contrary, he alleged that increasingly the situation at the tables deteriorated and in the end Republican observers were not present at every counting table. Worse, he said that at some tables the people were very aggressive, shouting "six feet" as soon as he for example tried to challenge a ballot with a number that didn't match the number on the envelope or when they entered 1-1-1900 as birth date.
Moreover, there's at least one witness account about systematic altering vote dates and many false signatures, see in particular Jessy Jacob's clarifications at 47 min - 54 min. Despite the fact that she expressed herself poorly, I find her a credible witness. It appears that doubtful ballots in envelopes were brought to an area without onlookers and where those ballots simply were accepted.
The judge didn't think so, he even didn't want to hear her out. In Courthouse News we can read:
“Evidence offered by long-time State Elections Director Christopher Thomas, however, reveals there was no need for comparison of signatures at the TCF Center because eligibility had been reviewed and determined at the Detroit election headquarters,” the ruling states. “As to the allegation of ‘pre-dating’ ballots, Mr. Thomas explains that this action completed a data field inadvertently left blank during the initial absentee ballot verification process.”
See also The Detroit News for more details: Chris Thomas, Michigan's retired director of elections explained that it appeared as if clerks at satellite offices had physically marked the envelopes as being received on a certain date, but then failed to register the date into the qualified voter file.
We told them to use the date, and it was clear on there (the envelope).
Ah, OK, so it was just a silly misunderstanding ... or was it? Where were those "Detroit election headquarters", with observers present from all parties? And where was the "initial absentee ballot verification process" done, if not at the TCF Center? And what about the faulty signatures and the bad reactions of her co-workers to her fair and honest observations?
According to Mrs. Jacob almost everything was wrong with those envelopes, see her account starting from here. At the very least, the whole operation lacked rigor and transparency. And it's a bad sign if at one of the most critical places - the tables where problematic ballots were treated - at least some of the time no challengers were present. That kind of thing allegedly also happened in Arizona.
claim: After fake broken water pipe alarm, suitcases with ballots pulled from under a table in Georgia
In December I saw a video about pretended "smoking gun" evidence, as "suitcases full of ballots" had been pulled out from under a table in Fulton county, Georgia when nobody was watching.
However, that hastily presented evidence turned out to be false alarm, as a fact check article explained. And so, that one backfired; Leadstories even published about it as "hoax-alert". The Washington Examiner presented another useful analysis with additional insider information. From my side I checked out the full publicly available video section that is embedded here, and verified that almost certainly nothing substantial could have been hidden underneath the table when it was brought in (video: 16:00-16:40), and that indeed piles of ballots had been placed on that same table during the day (at around 5:00).
But despite that false lead, the full story remains fishy.
It all started with a news report about "water main break" above the ballot counting room. According to the NY Post: "The ballots in the flooded room escaped harm due to the slant of the floor, officials said."
According to the timeline by Atlanta Journal-Constitution Atlanta Journal-Constitution's timeline (published online around midnight of Nov.3):
- Pipe burst at 6:07 a.m. Tuesday, Nov.3
- They planned to stop scanning absentee ballots at 10:30 p.m. and pick it up back in the morning.
Interestingly, the article added: "No official could explain before press time why Fulton was stopping its count of absentee ballots at that time, only saying that was the procedure."
I consider this to be clear, written evidence in support of the witness accounts that they were told in the evening that ballot counting had stopped. That is also born out by the packing up of the ballots. But what about the "burst water pipe"?
There's an updated article of 5 November (still with the wrong "suitcases" claim) on americanthinker.com that links to this exclusive article of Gateway Pundit. Following a Georgia Open Records Act request for information, it was found that the only public records generated were a couple of text messages asking about the burst pipe - no records about the repair existed. According to the messages:
it was highly exaggerated- it was a slow leak that caused about an hour and a half delay.
We contained it quickly - it did not spread - we just wanted to protect the equipment
The Leadstories article also has a link to an affidavit that mentions an investigation by the Secretary's Office of State: the only water leak problem that they could trace back to that time was "an urinal that had overflowed"!
Linked from the here mentioned articles is a Twitter message that appears to show a huge pro-Biden spike at about the time that the unsupervised counting had finished, as well as a video blow-up that shows how a stack of ballots was run no less than three times through a counting machine (corresponding to about 9:40 to 12:00 on the here embedded Vimeo video, top-right screen). There seems to have been paper jamming though, and it's not clear for me if the lady correctly reset the counter in-between counts.
I also found a 7 min. long Sky News discussion that I think is interesting. And as discussed in a critical Australian news article, Georgia did a recount - even several recounts. However, also those recounts were not beyond doubt. In summary, thousands of uncounted ballots were found that reduced the difference; and a Georgia signature match audit was alleged to have 'major flaws'. In a nutshell, the pretended '99.99% accuracy rate' of the audit becomes less impressive when considering that out of 396 rejected ballots from a sample of 15,118 Absentee-by-Mail ballots (rejected by Law Enforcement Officers), no less than 386 "were accepted as valid" by an "investigation team". They chose Cobb County for that audit "because they are well known to have one the best election offices in the state".
This case is not over yet: an Open Records Request for Fulton County Mail-In Ballots is proceeding. During a hearing, Steven Rosenberg of Fulton County called it 'the most watched, most contested national election in the history of man'.
claim: Backdated postmark stamps in Pennsylvania
In Erie, Pennsylvania, a postal worker who claimed that the postmaster had instructed postal workers to backdate ballots mailed after Election Day later admitted he had fabricated the claim.
I decided to check it out, and found that this has been a big thing in the media. It was also mentioned in the NYT article linked in the introduction. This article by lawandcrime.com gives an overview of events incl. the denial by the Postmaster and seems to establish Wikipedia's claim as correct; it ends with "The failure of Affidavit Hopkins’s allegations would mean that Republicans have been unable to produce any evidence—yet again—supporting claims of widespread voter fraud in the 2020 election." Here's the Oversight Committee claim of what the US Post Inspector General told them:
'completely RECANTED' #USPS IG investigators informed Committee staff today that they interviewed Hopkins on Friday, but that Hopkins RECANTED HIS ALLEGATIONS yesterday and did not explain why he signed a false affidavit.
Then it looked as if that news was based on deception by USPS officials, for the NY Times and the NY Post next wrote that he denied recanting; see also this article by Fox News and here, out of his own mouth. He demanded the Washington Post to recant their article.
But instead, the Washington Post responded with an article titled Audio recording shows Pa. postal worker recanting ballot-tampering claim!
The audio recording that was placed online is very interesting. An agent who introduced himself as Russell Strasser said to be paid by USPS IG but that he was "not part of this investigation". His mention of formerly "doing full Intel" in the US Air Force rings true. After carefully listening to the full conversation, I conclude that instead of doing their duty to hear a witness of election mail fraud, he and his colleague gaslighted the whistleblower. They even "purposely" put "a little bit of stress" on him so that his "mind can be a little bit clearer" (an article on the effect of stress on memory recall tells us the contrary).
Here's the audio recording to judge for yourself; regretfully it's a full two hours long and it's essential to listen carefully to the whole recording. The recording doesn't capture the end of the conversation (it's understandable why from the conversation itself).
Based on that audio recording, I made a reconstruction of the amendments as proposed by them, as well as, IMO, an example of how it should have looked like, from his clarifications. The most important difference is in point 4:
He heard them talk about "the ballots picked up on the fourth", and they said something about them all being "marked the third", except that "one was postmarked the fourth".
For me those phrases imply backdating - at least, I can't imagine a plausible alternative explanation (and neither did his supervisors offer one). It can be said that he watered down some of his statements, as he was asked to "shave it down to what we know a thousand percent is true"(!); but there's no reason to believe that he "admitted he had fabricated the claim". His recall then was consistent with his original testimony.
Nevertheless, I found again another fact check article that put doubt on Hopkin's allegations. They refer to a Goerie article that in turn refers to an Erie Times article. 'Not only did the Erie Times-News review find that only two late-arriving ballots processed at the Erie postal facility have a Nov. 3 postmark, but it also found that nine late ballots processed in Erie were postmarked Nov. 4 or later.' That was from a sample of '129 mail-in ballot envelopes that were postmarked Nov. 3 but arrived at the Erie County Board of Elections after Election Day.' While not directly contradicting Hopkin's testimony, those findings do undercut it; they suggests that whatever happened there, apparently had little effect. I couldn't access the Erie Times online and so it's unclear to me how pertinent and reliable that counter investigation was.
But what about the IG inspectors? The NY Post gives an interesting interpretation here.
In my opinion, the voice recording brings the relatively small affair of alleged tampering with ballots at a post office to a higher level. At the beginning of their conversation, Strasser told Hopkins:
I will be honest with you [..], let me let me make good on that promise right away okay? This storm is getting crazy - right? And it gets out of a lot of people's control. And so the reason they called me in, is to try to harness that storm - try to reel it back in before it gets really crazy, OK?
Were those inspectors sent by IG directors to the post office for damage control, with the task to sabotage the whistleblower's testimony? Or did those two inspectors act on their own initiative? I think that there's little chance that two inspectors from different places decide on the spot to conspire against their organization's orders. In any case, the next day either they themselves or others in their organization leaked the supposedly confidential results to Democratic Party Oversight Committee officials who immediately ran with the news.
Intrigued, I dug a little deeper: Zoominfo confirms a Russell Strasser who's a "Criminal Investigator - Specialist at United States Postal Service". Also in a discussion thread more is found. If correctly identified, this Russell Strasser was a Special Agent of the OSI and implicated in Fusion center watching of Occupy Wall Street protesters etc - but that's another story - or at least, off-topic. Further, his colleague Charles Klein appears to have the same job description.
In addition, a Michigan USPS whistleblower came with a similar story, that they were asked to “separate them [from standard letter mail] so that they could be marked with yesterday's date and send them through the express system”. I disagree with FactCheck.org that that claim "is moot", and not just because of the witness testimony that we saw earlier. Michigan continued to count ballots as late as Wednesday Nov. 6, and contrary to FactCheck.org I found that Michigan ballots postmarked by Nov. 2 and received in elections offices before Nov. 17 would be counted.
Once more, this was just a pick of many such allegations and I checked at least twice as many, some of which I found not credible but some I did find credible. In passing, I also came across photo evidence that regretfully would be very difficult to verify. For example, this could be true - or it could be a good joke.
To my surprise, 2020 election data sets as they came in during election day and afterwards on a NYT website are still stored there, open for everyone to inspect and do forensics on. Moreover, those Web addresses have been stored multiple times, also between updates, in archive.org. Part 2 of this discussion will be centered around these NYT election data sets.
Planned for Part 2:
claim: Voting machine scams (fractional counting? electronic ballot stuffing?)
claim: Impossible vote "spikes"
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