Opinion: Corruption disruption

Was the 2020 American election rigged?


Ben Bolstrum, Managing Editor

With President Biden now in office, some Americans have yet to accept the result of the 2020 election. The peaceful transition of power is the core to American Democracy and must occur as the process dictates, but how can this happen when many people still believe that this election was fraudulent, rigged or otherwise corrupt? Here are some theories and the information behind them.


“Evidence of voter fraud continues to grow, including 20,000 dead people on the Pennsylvania voters roll and many thousands all over the Country. Now, there has been an artificial number of votes in favor of Joe Biden.” – Donald J. Trump (From Twitter post on November 19, 2020)

There have been many reports of ballots being casted by people who have died. It is not a case of zombies rising from the grave, but allegedly the work of people using their dead relatives and friends to shift the tide of the presidency. Unfortunately, the truth is must less exciting as there is no grand conspiracy or Romero movie here. As a matter of fact, those with an acute political memory may remember these claims are discussed every election cycle regardless of the outcome. Snopes cites two reasons for this:

  • It is difficult for an election official to obtain the necessary information needed to ensure that a voter has passed away.
  • The database is not automated, and dead voters must be manually removed from the system.

It is a similar macabre concept to this TIME article which explains that one day the dead will outnumber the living on Facebook.

The second reason has to do with the dawn of the digital age. Previously, voter data was kept on paper which did not always have complete records for the voter. A common missing factor in these records are the birth dates of registered voters. When this information is lacking, a placeholder date is used instead. Snopes cites the example of “1/1/1900” This makes it appear that the voter could not possibly still be alive, but it is in fact just a default date.

Primary source: snopes.com/fact-check/20000-dead-voters-in-pennsylvania/

Observers Removed

“Nobody wants to report that Pennsylvania and Michigan didn’t allow our Poll Watchers and/or Vote Observers to Watch or Observe,” President Trump alleged in a Nov. 11 tweet. “This is responsible for hundreds of thousands of votes that should not be allowed to count. Therefore, I easily win both states.” -Donald J. Trump (From Twitter post on November 12, 2020)

Claims that observers were removed illegally from polling locations began almost immediately. The fact of the matter is simple, it did not happen. In Philadelphia, partisan observers could inspect the democratic process from at least 6 feet away starting on Nov. 5, 2020. This ruling was appealed so that viewers could examine with full transparency the legitimacy of the count. The claim that any observer had been removed was later recanted, despite continued claims from President Trump and his lawyer, Rudy Giuliani.

“At all times, the city commissioners, who are a bipartisan organization, have followed the law,” Kevin Feeley, a spokesperson for the city commissioners explains in a PolitiFact article.

The claim that observers were removed from Michigan is equally false. This concept originated on Nov. 4, 2020, in Detroit. A convention hall that was being used to canvas had reached capacity for legal observers. In Michigan, these people are called “Challengers” and are generally sent by political parties to ensure honest electoral work. Despite this, over 100 republican challengers filled the halls. Nobody was asked to leave, but workers could also not legally allow any more challengers inside.

“This is an utterly false and irresponsible claim by Trump,” said Samuel Bagenstos, a professor of law at the University of Michigan, cited in the same Politifact article. “Republican challengers were permitted everywhere in Michigan.”

Source: politifact.com/factchecks/2020/nov/12/donald-trump/trumps-wrong-claim-election-observers-were-barred-/


From Edward Snowden and the CIA to Deepthroat and Richard Nixon, whistleblowers tend to draw a crowd. That is exactly what happened when Richard Hopkins, a US postal worker who alleged his supervisors planned to tamper with absentee ballots by backdating them after they were sent to the UPS. This case eventually rose to the Justice Department for further research and even the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) after being passed up by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsay Graham. Before this investigation even concluded, Hopkins chose to recant his statement after an interview with federal investigators.

“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,” explains committee Democrats on Twitter.

Source: abcnews.go.com/Politics/postal-worker-recants-claims-fraud-cited-trump-campaign/story?id=74138861

 “You’re fired!”

There’s an old journalism adage attributed to Jonathon Foster that goes something like “If someone says it’s raining, and another person says it’s dry. It’s not your job to quote them both. Your job is to look out the window and find out which is true.” While it would be irresponsible to assert that no fraud took place, I can say with certainty that after looking out this window that there isn’t any rain in sight.

You can contact Ben at [email protected].