December 15, 2020
[Please note that some of the content mentioned in this article has already been addressed or resolved!]
When looking at the 2020 Presidential Election and analyzing it for fraud, there is not currently a lot of evidence in support of it, which makes having an unbiased take on it difficult. In order to try to achieve that in this article, I will be referencing reputable news sources, primary sources, and court hearings and will not be making my own conclusions on anything. This article is solely to put the evidence before everyone to let you make an opinion based on what we know at the moment, which will change in the future. In this article, I will talk about the many lawsuits that have been raised by the Trump campaign, among others, as well as presenting the facts on some of the popular theories that are going around. With that being said, let us begin.
November 3rd was an election for the history books. We all knew that it would last far beyond election day and that there would be many lawsuits after it. And that is what we are facing right now. As it stands, the AP has called the race in favor of Biden. If these results stand, regardless of the vote in states such as GA or NC, Biden would be our next president. However, the question on everyone’s mind is “Will these votes stand?” Sadly, this seems to have become a partisan issue recently, and the Trump campaign has levied lawsuits in six states to try to prove that the elections were fraudulent. Let’s examine these by state.
ARIZONA: While Biden currently leads Arizona by a margin of 0.32%, the Trump campaign is suing, currently seeking the manual inspection of ballots that it claims were mishandled by poll workers. This lawsuit is currently waiting to be heard, but the Secretary of State of Arizona believes that it will be dismissed like a similar lawsuit over the use of sharpies to mark ballots.
GEORGIA: Georgia has become an unlikely battleground as Biden only leads by a margin of 0.28%. The Trump campaign has had one lawsuit dismissed after no evidence was found to back their claim that ballots received after the deadline of 7pm were mixed in with legitimate ballots from before the deadline. In response to this, the two Republican Senators from Georgia, currently seeking reelection themselves, called for the resignation of the Georgia Secretary of State over his alleged mishandling of the election, with no evidence to back up said claim. Georgia is having a manual recount done and the results of that will be known by November 20th.
MICHIGAN: With Biden leading by a slim margin of 0.65%, the Trump campaign has raised many suits in Michigan. They sued early on to stop the vote count and to stop the certification of the results, both of which have been denied due to a lack of evidence. However, the Trump team has raised even more suits, claiming that there was bias among the poll workers who they claim were wearing Black Lives Matter masks and were rolling their eyes when people voted Trump. These cases have not had hearings scheduled and there has been no evidence so far that these actions led to a change in the vote totals.
NEVADA: This state, where Biden leads by 0.75%, has been sued by the Trump team many times. They have wanted to stop processing mail-in ballots, stop using an optical scanner to verify signatures, and slow down the vote counting in Clark County as a result of “irregularities.” However, the Trump campaign has found some success here, successfully petitioning to add more observers to Clark County, but ultimately changing no votes.
PENNSYLVANIA: Another close race where Biden leads by only 0.83%, the Trump campaign has filed at least 15 legal challenges. The most important of these revolve around the issue of when the mail-in ballot deadline is. This was extended to November 6th by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court and the Trump team is challenging this in court. The campaign recently won a small victory in disqualifying first-time mail in ballots where the ID was confirmed after November 9th, but it is unknown how many ballots this will disqualify. Another pending lawsuit includes one trying to stop the certification of results because of fraud, but the lawsuit itself did not have any evidence within it. Even if these lawsuits do get ruled in Trump’s favor, it is not predicted that this will change the race as it is estimated that only 10,000 ballots may be affected, and Trump is losing by over 50,000.
WISCONSIN: With Biden leading by 0.63%, it is expected that Trump will request a recount in the coming days. While it does not appear that any lawsuits have been raised, many Republicans are calling foul play for a variety of reasons, ranging from an error in the AP vote recording that gave Trump over 19,000 extra votes for a moment before taking them away, to a state law that was changed in June that changed how long a voter had to live in their current residence before voting (from 10 to 28 days).
Outside of these legal challenges, there have been a couple of theories about the election fraud that have gained traction recently, especially given their backing in seemingly sound math. The first is the Benford’s Law idea.
Benford’s Law is an idea from statistics that if you find the leading digit of a set of numbers spread over multiple orders of magnitude, then the leading digit will be “1” almost 33% of the time, “2” around 18% of the time, “3” about 12% of the time, and so forth. A popular right-wing article claimed to have evidence that when counting the votes for Michigan precincts, Trump’s data perfectly matches Benford’s law, whereas Biden’s does not, so therefore there is fraud. There are many problems with this. First, in this article, we can see that the author uses different data sets for his analysis of Trump (616 data points) and Biden (630 data points). We also do not know if this data is sufficiently spread out enough for Benford’s Law to apply. However, there is an even greater problem. Benford’s Law cannot be used to detect election fraud. To quote from a 2011 article titled “Benford’s Law and the Detection of Election Fraud” written by professors at the University of Oregon and the California Institute of Technology, “Its ‘success rate’ either way is essentially equivalent to a toss of a coin, thereby rendering it problematical at best as a forensic tool and wholly misleading at worst.”
The second theory that has gained traction recently comes from a video by Dr. Shiva Ayyadurai, who is running for Senate as a Republican in Massachusetts and has a PhD in biological engineering from MIT. In his video, he claims that by analyzing the results of multiple Michigan counties by individual precinct, as a precinct becomes more Republican, more and more people stray from party line and do not vote for Trump. This happens at a linear rate and he claims that this must be because of a weighted ballot feature that many of these voting machines must include because one voting machine back in 2001 had this feature. He claims that this means that over 138,000 ballots were stolen from Trump. While this seems like it may be a sound argument, many people have problems with this argument. First, these voting machines have weighted ballot features (where, for example, a single vote could count for two votes) so that they can be used at shareholder meetings, where this feature is necessary. Another argument against Dr. Shiva is that his hypotheses that we should expect a constant relationship between party-line Republican voters and Trump voters is wrong. An argument against this is that, given how divisive Trump has been, Republi-cans have a higher probability than normal to not vote for him, so as a precinct becomes more Republican, more people would defect and not vote for him. However, it seems that for now, no evidence has come out to support Dr. Shiva’s claim, although there could be some in the future.
In conclusion, this election has played out similarly to how everyone thought it would. Trump has continued his accusations that the election is fraudulent and has been throwing the book at every state that he thinks could flip. Many conspiracy theories have popped up online supporting his claims that the election was fraudulent. Given the evidence that we have now, it appears that it is not. However, anything could happen, and Trump keeps claiming that he has more evidence. Yet as of right now, we don’t know what that evidence is, so all I can leave you with is the fact that this election is far from over and will be one of the most interesting of our lifetimes.