Philadelphia – Election officials in dozens of states representing both political parties said that there was no evidence that fraud or other irregularities played a part in President Trump’s result, the overwhelming rebuke of President Trump’s portrait of a fake election Of.
For the past several days, the president, members of his administration, congressional Republicans, and right-wing allies have put forward the false claim that the elections were stolen from Mr. Trump and that he has given Joseph R. As Biden Jr. refused to show results. the winner.
But top election officials around the country said in interviews and statements that the process was a notable success despite record voting and the complications of a dangerous epidemic.
“There is a great human capacity to invent things that are not true about the election,” said Frank Lorosz, a Republican who serves as Ohio’s secretary of state. “Conspiracy theories and rumors and all those things are huge. For some reason, elections give rise to that type of mythology. “
Steve Simon, a Democrat who is Minnesota’s Secretary of State, said: “I am not aware of a single case where someone has argued that a vote should count if it should or not. There was no fraud. “
“Kansas did not experience any widespread, systemic issues with voter fraud, intimidation, irregularity, or voting problems,” the Republic’s Secretary of State, Kansas Schwab, said in an email on Tuesday. “We are very pleased with how the election went up to this point.”
The New York Times contacted the offices of every state’s top election officials on Monday and Tuesday to ask if they had suspicions or evidence of illegal voting. Officials in 45 states responded directly to The Times. For the remaining four states, The Times spoke to other statewide officials or received public comment from secretaries of state; No major voting issues are reported.
Statewide officials in Texas did not respond to repeated inquiries. But a spokeswoman for the top election official in Harris County, Texas’ largest county with more than several states, said there were some minor issues and “we were very comfortable elections.” On Tuesday, Republican Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick in Texas announced a $ 1 million fund to reward the voter fraud report.
Some states described small problems for all elections that they said they were addressing: some examples of illegal or double voting, some technical glitches, and some minor math errors. Officials of all states are conducting their own voting review – a standard component of Certification process.
Perhaps none of the Trump campaign’s claims received much attention from the accusation over the weekend in Pennsylvania by the president’s personal lawyer, Rudolf W. Giuliani. On Saturday, Mr. Giuliani held a news conference in the Philadelphia Landscaping Company’s parking lot, claiming that the election in the city coincided with fraud.
The state’s top law enforcement officer’s office said there was no evidence to support Mr. Giuliani’s claims, and that the election in the state was “fair and secure.”
“Many claims against the Commonwealth have already been dismissed, and it is negligent to repeat these false attacks,” said Jacqueline Rohds, a spokesman for Jose Shapiro, a Democrat who is the Attorney General of Pennsylvania. “No active prosecution is also alleged, and none of the evidence presented so far shows widespread problems.”
What came out in The Times reporting was that beyond the president, Republicans in many states were engaged in a broader effort to hand over the country’s voting system.
Some Republicans also lambasted members of his own party who had not shown enough dedication to root out the fraud in their eyes. In Georgia, where Mr. Biden leads, two Republican senators, Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, are both in a runoff to seek re-election, Republican Secretary of State, Brad Raffensparger called for resignation. “The secretaries of state have failed to conduct honest and transparent elections,” the senators said in a statement.
In Washington, losing the Republican nominee to Governor Lorraine Culp, the Republican secretary disputed the state’s determination that the election there was free from fraud. Secretary of State Kim Wyman has challenged Mr. Kalp, who is behind by nearly 14 percentage points. In the results, To present evidence. “It’s just throwing grass over the fence at this point,” she said in an interview. “Look what sticks.”
Democrats have become the target of much criticism. Last week, the Republican leadership of the Pennsylvania state legislature called Kathy bockwar onDemocratic Secretary of State, to step down. In WisconsinThe Republican speaker of the assembly announced that he would form committees to investigate voter fraud in the wake of Mr. Biden’s narrow victory in the state, although there is no evidence. Republican lawmakers in Michigan voted on Saturday Issue sub-issues for documents In search of “election irregularities”
In fact, Republicans in all three “blue-wall” states have initiated an “investigation” or called for an audit – which is meaningless given the already ongoing certification work. Democrats say this is simply a way to reduce confidence in the results.
On Monday, the Trump campaign intensified its legal efforts, filing a lawsuit in seven Pennsylvania counties, where the president lost out, claiming that mail voting created an unfair, “two-tiered” system during the election – though that system Also applicable in counties. The president wins. The campaign also announced plans to file another lawsuit in Michigan.
The president has maintained a barrage of Twitter posts with false claims about the disturbances in Nevada and Pennsylvania, predicting that he will live in Georgia, where he is behind, and that Wisconsin has been “statutory for a short time” Se needs, “though no explanation was given for what he meant.
Nellie Gorbia, Democratic Secretary of State in Rhode Island, said the amount of attention the election would give would make it difficult for illegal voters. “Voter fraud will be almost impossible in this election because the number of people has decreased,” she said.
Voting fraud is extremely rare in the United States. The irregularities that occur are often inconsistent, isolated in nature, and are unlikely to change the outcome of the election. The most significant episode of electoral fraud over the past several years included an alleged attempt to manipulate ballots in 2018 to benefit Mark Harris, a Republican candidate for Congress in North Carolina. A new election And an operative working for Mr. Harris, L. McCrae Dowles, Is subject to indictment. Mr. Harris was not wrongly accused, and denied any role.
In the case of the 2020 election, Mr. Biden’s margins are marginalized in the states of Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin. Even in Georgia, where Mr. Biden leads by more than 11,000 votes, it will be difficult to uncover enough voting irregularities to win.
“We have not seen any evidence of fraud or dishonesty in the actual administration of the election,” said Jake Rall, spokesman for the Democratic Secretary of State in Michigan, Jokele Benson. “What we have seen is simple, transparent, safe and accurate.”
Still, Mr. Trump has been fixated on voter fraud since 2016, when he falsely claimed that vote theft had cost him the popular vote, which he lost by about 3 million. In the aftermath of the election, he formed a voting fraud commission that dissolved without any conclusion amid allegations of privacy, bias and redundancy.
Mr. Trump’s attack on the electoral system this year relies on either outright construction or gross exaggeration, which usually includes small problems that come up in elections.
In Ohio, for example, Mr. LaRose said that while it was not uncommon to discover a handful of inconsistencies in a statewide election, systemic fraud has not occurred.
“In the past, I have referred local prosecutors and the Attorney General for noncitizens voting,” he said. “It’s like tens or dozens of people, not hundreds. There is no acceptable level of voter fraud and we take all those cases seriously. “
Voting has increased the most in Georgia. The Trump campaign and two Republican senators have complained about transparency, which Mr. Rafaenspar, the Secretary of State, called “laughable”.
“We were actually releasing the results in a minimum of one hour,” he said in a statement. “Me and my office are holding daily or twice-daily briefings for the press to walk through all the numbers. So that the special charge is laughable. “
He said that while the chances of fraud were small, he did not expect that it would be significant enough to affect the outcome.
The absence of any major findings of fraud or irregularities, and even a desire to prepare Republican election officials for smooth conduct, is undercutting Mr. Trump’s legal efforts.
In Michigan, the Trump campaign has sued, saying that their poll watchers were not given the right to count ballot counts in Detroit. But the election officials in the city deny that there were Dozens of poll watchers From both campaigns inside the main counting center there.
Last week, a judge denied a Trump campaign bid to block the count based on complaints about observers, Dismissed Major evidence as to “obscure” and “harsey”.
Mr. Trump and his fellow Republicans did well, with allegations of fraud from the president and his allies being completely absent from the states.
For example, in South Carolina, the Republican incumbent, Senator Lindsey Graham, won relatively easily over Jaime Harrison, despite the fact that the elections showed a tight race. John W., president of the South Carolina Election Board. Wells said late Monday, “I haven’t heard of any significant” allegations of fraud in the state, though he said he would wait for a final determination Authentication and Conflict process.
Asked if Mr. Graham was concerned about his results The state, a spokesman, said the senator has “discussed states where margins are close” but invited South Carolina voters to move forward with “evidence of fraud or irregularities.”
Mr. Trump, a close aide of Mr. Trump, has taken the president’s cause. He asked the Department of Justice to ask a Postal Service worker in Erie, PA to investigate the claims made in the affidavit of the Trump campaign shared with him. The worker made the allegations. On the basis of a conversation in the local post branch to a large extent, he said he listened.
Late Tuesday night, the credibility of that affidavit came under question after the House’s oversight committee report On twitter That worker re-read his story in a discussion with the Postal Service Office of the Inspector General. The worker later denied that he was admitted in an online video.
One of the secretaries of state who did not respond to requests for comment about the election in his state was Corey Stapleton of Montana, an outgoing Republican. But Mr. Stapleton posted a message addressing the president’s ongoing fraud claims. “I have supported you, Mr. Chairman,” She wrote. “@realDonaldTrump During his time in the office he did some incredible things! But that time is over now! Tip your hat, bite your lips, and congratulate @Joe Biden. “
Michael Vine, Mike Baker, Giulia MacDonnell Nieto Del Rio and Will Wright contributed reporting.