The President was no more factual on Thursday. As of 4 PM, Twitter had affixed a fact-check warning label to three of his tweets that day, making it nine labels since Wednesday. Trump’s allies also flooded the zone with so much misinformation that it was hard to know where a fact checker should begin.
We won’t get into a Thursday media event during which Trump surrogates, such as former acting director of national intelligence Richard Grenell, made a series of unproven allegations about voting in Nevada.
Ballots accepted after Election Day
Facts First: This is false. Twenty-two states, plus the District of Columbia, are accepting ballots that arrive after Election Day — as long as they arrive by a certain date after Election Day and were postmarked by Election Day (or, in some cases, by a certain date before Election Day). States that accept these ballots include Mississippi, North Dakota, Texas, Utah, Ohio and West Virginia — all of which are governed by Republicans and all of which were won by Trump both in 2016 and 2020. (I know it’s just projections at this point in 2020, but they’re all clear victories.)
Trump might perhaps have been attempting to make a prediction — that, say, Republicans would win legal challenges to state rules on accepting ballots — but his statement sounded like an official proclamation.
The legitimacy of the votes
Facts First: That is, again, just false. Nobody is trying to “steal” the election. Votes are simply being counted.
Trump was vague here about what he meant by “late,” but the only votes being counted are those cast by voters who met their states’ deadlines for mailing their ballots — which is, in every case, Election Day or before.
Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania
Facts First: Like Trump’s claim of election theft, Gingrich’s claim is patently false. There is no basis for the claim that Democrats are stealing the election in any state.
The conduct of states in general
Facts First: There is no proof of any widespread voter fraud in states Biden is believed to have won. And there is no proof of any state committing any kind of election fraud at all.
The ballots in Pennsylvania
When “Fox & Friends” co-host Steve Doocy asked Bondi if she had just said “fake ballots,” Bondi responded, “There could be, that’s the problem.” When Doocy asked for specifics, she did not provide any.
Facts First: There is simply no evidence of “fake ballots” in Pennsylvania. There is nothing fake about ballots that arrive after Election Day.
The vote count
Moreover, Republicans have made gains over time in some states where the counting process is different. In Florida, where counties were allowed to count votes as soon as they received mail ballots, Joe Biden jumped out to what ended up being a mirage of a big lead on election night, but Trump overtook him after in-person votes were counted.
Counting after Election Day
It’s also worth addressing two of the claims White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany made on Fox News on Wednesday night. One of them was another complaint about the vote count in Pennsylvania.
“We have election days in this country for a reason, because votes are counted on Election Day,” McEnany said.
The 2012 election and Philadelphia
Grenell suggested Democratic opposition to certain voter identification practices was a way they were trying to illegally obtain votes in their favor.
Facts First: Grenell’s tweet was misleading on several fronts. Democrats have not “always” been against showing identification in order to vote, and there is no evidence they “want to count illegal votes.”
There are several situations in which casting a ballot without showing an ID would be legal, specifically in the 15 states (plus Washington, DC) that rely on other forms of voter verification. In the rest of the states, voters are required to present some form of identification before casting ballots.
It is true that most Democrats have been against stricter voter-ID laws in the past, but on grounds that these laws could disenfranchise voters who may not have access to necessary identification — not in order to illegally obtain votes.
Republicans have wielded this Democratic position on voter ID laws to paint Democrats as complicit in election fraud despite the fact that voter fraud is exceedingly rare — and that even states that don’t require ID have other methods to prevent fraud, like signature checks.