Fact-Checking the Congressional Debate on Ratifying the Election Results

— Senator Catherine Cortez Masto, Democrat of Nevada

Shortly after the Nov. 3 election, officers in Maricopa County — house to a majority of Arizona voters — performed a hand audit of 4 vote facilities. (The county used a brand new system within the 2020 election that permitted residents to vote in individual at any voting location within the county, fairly than being restricted to their house precinct.) Auditors representing the Republican Social gathering, the Democratic Social gathering and the Libertarian Social gathering selected the facilities, and volunteers manually counted the ballots solid at these facilities and checked that they matched the machine counts. They did.

— Senator Patrick J. Toomey, Republican of Pennsylvania

Mr. Toomey was referring to members of Congress who invoked “the 1877 precedent” in calling for a 15-member fee to audit the election outcomes.

Within the 1876 presidential election, the Democratic candidate, Samuel J. Tilden, gained the favored vote, however the Republican candidate, Rutherford B. Hayes, in the end gained the Electoral School in a compromise that ended Reconstruction and that a number of Republicans have cited as a mannequin for the 2020 election.

A vital distinction between the 2 elections, as Mr. Toomey mentioned, is that in 1876, three states — Louisiana, South Carolina and Florida — sent competing slates of electors to Washington. In such a scenario, Congress is explicitly tasked with resolving the dispute and figuring out which slate to rely. This yr, there aren’t any competing slates.

— Consultant Paul Gosar, Republican of Arizona

President Trump and his supporters in Congress repeatedly draw from the conspiracy motion QAnon, which has pushed false claims about election fraud. Mr. Gosar repeated one such declare on Wednesday, alleging with out proof that Dominion Voting Techniques, an organization that makes software program to assist native governments run their elections, would allow somebody to vary votes.

Dominion Voting Techniques has forcefully denied that its software program might be used to “swap” or “delete” votes. There is no such thing as a proof that any voting system utilized in america, together with the machines with Dominion software program, permits an individual to delete or adjustments votes, in keeping with the federal company that oversees election safety. However QAnon adherents have continued to push the unfounded conspiracy concept.

QAnon originated in 2017, centering on the baseless notion that the nation is run by a Democrat-led cabal of pedophiles whom President Trump is bringing down. Because the motion has grown, it has promulgated different conspiracy theories.

Mail-in voting has turn into a standard speaking level amongst President Trump’s supporters falsely claiming it contributed to widespread voter fraud, together with on Wednesday, when Consultant Jim Jordan, Republican of Ohio, introduced it up. However there may be little proof to help their statements.

In March, Mr. Trump started making false claims about mail-in voting in tweets that inaccurately acknowledged that there have been “massive issues and discrepancies” with mail-in voting, and that folks might vote a number of instances by mail.

Within the weeks following the 2020 elections, the president and his supporters expanded their claims to just about a dozen states. The claims falsely acknowledged that folks had voted within the names of others, together with their spouses, dead relatives and pets, or that mail-in votes had been switched or miscounted by election officers.

Audits throughout america haven’t turned up instances of widespread voter fraud, or of vote switching by mail-in voting. In a handful of instances, individuals had been found making an attempt to fraudulently vote within the names of others, however had been stopped by election officers. In Pennsylvania, officials discovered {that a} man had unlawfully voted for Mr. Trump within the title of his deceased mom. The person is dealing with expenses and will spend as much as 19 years in jail if convicted.

Election officers have repeatedly acknowledged that mail-in voting is secure. A database maintained by the conservative Heritage Basis discovered 193 convicted instances of voter fraud between 2000 and 2020, throughout which roughly 250 million votes had been solid.

— Consultant Steve Scalise, Republican of Louisiana

Courts have rejected Mr. Scalise’s interpretation of election regulation. The Structure provides state legislatures the facility to decide on their electors, however doesn’t stipulate how they have to do it. In Arizona, the legislature has delegated the authority to run elections to its secretary of state.

In Wisconsin, Mr. Trump’s marketing campaign argued in courtroom that the state had violated his rights by the way it performed its elections. A federal choose in Milwaukee, a Trump appointee, dismissed the case last month.

The Electors Clause of the Structure “directs state legislatures to nominate presidential electors in a fashion of their selecting,” Decide Brett H. Ludwig wrote. “There was no violation of the Structure.”

— Senator Ted Cruz, Republican of Texas

It’s true {that a} latest Reuters ballot discovered that 39 p.c of People believe the election was “rigged.” (Twenty-two p.c “strongly” agreed with that assertion and 17 p.c “considerably” agreed with it.) Nevertheless, the argument that Mr. Cruz is making is round and deceptive. Because the second Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s victory turned clear in November, Mr. Trump has repeatedly and forcefully informed his supporters that the election was illegitimate. Mr. Trump and different Republicans made this argument earlier than polling confirmed that many Republicans believed it, and at the moment are citing the truth that individuals imagine them as proof that the false argument is appropriate.

— Mr. Trump

Mr. Trump, talking in Washington earlier than the proceedings started within the Capitol, was suggesting {that a} last-minute batch of fraudulent votes disadvantaged him of victory in key states, when the truth is what performed out was a standard vote-counting course of. Election officers had warned for months that counting ballots may take days or even weeks to finish, given the prevalence of absentee ballots this yr. Studies and experts predicted that Mr. Trump could lead on on election night time in key states, however that lead might be slowly eroded as officers proceed to rely mail-in ballots. That’s what occurred in lots of states.

His false assertion was one of many baseless claims he has made in latest days about election fraud.

— President Trump

Vice President Mike Pence does not have the power to change the end result of the election. His job is solely to supervise the tallying of the Electoral Votes. Simply earlier than the proceedings started, Mr. Pence issued an announcement saying that the Structure “constrains me from claiming unilateral authority to find out which electoral votes ought to be counted and which shouldn’t.”

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