Speed Reads

election 2020

No state election chief, GOP or Democrat, found significant vote fraud. The New York Times asked.

President Trump isn't the only Republican making unsubstantiated claims about fraud and other irregularities in races Democrats won in the 2020 election. GOP state legislators have said they will audit elections and losing GOP candidates have tried to sow doubt about their losses and the election overall.

But "top election officials across the country said in interviews and statements that the process had been a remarkable success despite record turnout and the complications of a dangerous pandemic," and "there was no evidence that fraud or other irregularities played a role in the outcome of the presidential race," The New York Times reports.

Times reporters contacted the top election officials in all 50 states Monday and Tuesday — Democrat, Republican, or nonpartisan — and 45 responded. In the other five states, the Times found public statements from the secretary of state or spoke with other statewide officials. "None reported any major voting issues," the Times reports.

"There's a great human capacity for inventing things that aren't true about elections," Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose (R) told the Times. "The conspiracy theories and rumors and all those things run rampant. For some reason, elections breed that type of mythology." Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon (D) said he doesn't "know of a single case where someone argued that a vote counted when it shouldn't have or didn't count when it should. There was no fraud."

Some states did find the kind of small and isolated problems, math errors, and illegal voting uncovered in all elections — "tens or dozens of people, not hundred," LaRose said — and "officials in all states are conducting their own review of the voting — a standard component of the certification process," the Times notes. But "Trump's attack on the election system this year has relied on either outright fabrication or gross exaggeration" of these scattered incidents, though not in states where "Trump and his fellow Republicans did well." Read more at The New York Times.

Editor's note: A previous version of this article misidentified Minnesota's secretary of state. It's been corrected. We regret the error.