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Illegal Votes From Noncitizens Likely Affected the 2020 Election, Study Says

Noncitizens likely voted at a high enough rate to alter the 2020 Electoral College tally, potentially flipping the states of Arizona and Georgia in the presidential election, according to an analysis by Just Facts, a research group.

That’s significant, and while it wouldn’t be enough to hand the election to President Donald Trump, it potentially could have made a difference. Only U.S. citizens are legally allowed to vote in federal elections.

The revised estimate, as of Monday, shows that Trump could have won 259 electoral votes if noncitizen votes were not counted. But that would likely still leave former Vice President Joe Biden with 279 electoral votes, nine votes more than the 270 needed to win.

The current electoral vote tally stands at 306 for Biden, 232 for Trump. Arizona has 11 Electoral College votes, while Georgia gets 16.


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Just Facts first released an analysis on Nov. 8, five days after the election, that calculated a lower and upper estimate of the extent of noncitizen voting. That analysis determined that Trump could have won as few as 259 electoral votes—or as many as 285. The latter would have secured a second term.

However, as more mail-in votes were counted, Biden’s lead widened in states such Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Nevada.

Several major media outlets have projected Biden as the president-elect, but the Trump campaign is still litigating in several battleground states. The Trump team has not made noncitizen voting a significant part of its allegations of voter fraud.

The revised study estimated the number of noncitizen votes cast in the states of Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Wisconsin, Nevada, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania—all of which were closely contested on election night.

It estimated that 234,570 noncitizen votes benefited Biden across seven battleground states. That estimate did not change as more votes were counted.

“Based on the latest vote counts and the upper and lower bounds of the study results, Georgia and Arizona would flip to Trump, leaving him with 259 Electoral College votes,” James Agresti, president of Just Facts, told The Daily Signal. “Under the upper bound, Nevada gets really close, with Trump down by 3,858 votes.”

With the exception of Arizona, each of the states in question appeared to be favoring Trump until the early-morning hours of Nov. 4, but began to shift to Biden over several days. North Carolina is the only state of the seven that appears likely to go to Trump.

The Electoral College will cast its vote in 50 states and the District of Columbia on Dec. 14.

The estimate is based on the percentages of noncitizens that voted in previous elections, predicated on a 2014 study by researchers at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia, that evaluated rates of noncitizen voting in 2008 and 2010, Agresti said, applied only to the seven battleground states.

The Old Dominion study determined 6.4% of noncitizens voted in the 2008 presidential election and 3% in the 2010 congressional midterm elections, with 81% voting Democrat.

The rate was high enough to change the Electoral College vote count in 2008 (although not enough to swing the presidential election) and actually change the outcome of some congressional races, particularly the Senate race in Minnesota that year.

That race was decided in favor of Democrat Al Franken over Republican Norm Coleman by just 312 votes out of more than 2.86 million votes cast.

Agresti noted that illegal noncitizen voting is just “one type of fraud” that could have occurred in the 2020 election.

Asked about the proliferation of mail-in voting and ballot harvesting, he said, “That could certainly make it easier, with fewer checks and balances,” for a larger number of noncitizens to vote.

Last week, USA Today criticized the initial study claiming in a “fact check” column that rated the study as “missing context,” and arguing that it “relies on unverifiable estimates.”

The USA Today fact check largely relied on rebuttals from left-leaning sources such as the Fair Elections Center and the Brennan Center for Justice. USA Today also referenced a Wired magazine article to question the Old Dominion researchers.

Just Facts issued a rebuttal on Tuesday to what it called a “slanderous ‘fact check’” of its study:

The Just Facts study doesn’t claim to have the precise 2020 numbers, and is clear in its reliance on the Old Dominion study and other sources, such as a 2008 Harvard/YouGov survey, the Government Accountability Office, and the Social Security Administration, to apply data from past elections as the basis for the assumptions of the numbers this year.

Agresti noted that as many as 15% of noncitizens said they were registered to vote, based on survey data cited in the Old Dominion report.

The full extent of noncitizen voting is a problem, as demonstrated in past years in Pennsylvania, said Hans von Spakovsky, the manager of the Election Law Reform Initiative at The Heritage Foundation.

“We don’t know the full extent of the problem, but we know it is a problem,” von Spakovsky, a former member of the Federal Election Commission, told The Daily Signal. “We need to require proof of citizenship from people registering to vote.”

COLUMN BY

Fred Lucas

Fred Lucas is chief national affairs correspondent for The Daily Signal and co-host of “The Right Side of History” podcast. Lucas is also the author of “Abuse of Power: Inside The Three-Year Campaign to Impeach Donald Trump.” Send an email to Fred. Twitter: @FredLucasWH.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Signal column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

NY Primary ‘Mess’ Seen as Omen for Big Problems With Mail-In Voting in November

The more than 84,000 mail-in ballots that were disqualified in the June 23 primary in New York—where two congressional nominations were just decided this week—underscore prospective problems posed by the universal mail-in voting being called for by liberal politicians for the November elections in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The massive problems with the primary in New York’s 12th Congressional District raise alarms over the prospects for a debacle on a multistate level, not only in the presidential election, but in Senate and House races, governorships, and other elected offices as well.

“If ballots aren’t promptly processed, it could lead to a legal showdown in November,” Jason Snead, executive director of the Honest Elections Project, told The Daily Signal. “It could certainly set things up for a contested election in November. This is going to be a big problem, especially for whichever party loses.”

The New York primary on June 23 had more than 10 times as many absentee ballots cast as in a normal primary, The New York Times reported. That came after New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued an executive order directing the state to send out absentee ballots with prepaid postage (covered by state funds) on the envelopes to make it easier to vote by mail.


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On Wednesday, longtime Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., declared victory in her primary contest in New York’s 12th Congressional District against progressive insurgent challenger Suraj Patel, who hasn’t conceded the race and is litigating to get the votes counted.

Maloney outpolled Patel by 648 votes—16,473 to 15,825—out of 39,635 votes that were counted in the four-way race.

In the neighboring 15th Congressional District, New York City Councilman Ritchie Torres was certified the winner in a 15-candidate Democratic primary to fill the seat of retiring Rep. Jose Serrano.

The New York City Board of Elections received 403,103 mail-in ballots for the primary, but counted only 318,995, leaving 84,108—or 21% of those votes—uncounted, The New York Post reported Wednesday. The Post described the election as a “mess.”

Some of those votes were not counted because the prepaid ballot envelopes were not postmarked. In other cases, people didn’t add their signatures. Patel complained that ballots were disqualified if the envelopes were taped shut.

New York City officials said in federal court they were still mailing ballots the day before the election.

Even New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, a Democrat, said the city’s Board of Elections “can do better and must do better,” adding: “I am certain they can learn from this and be prepared for the general election.”

Meanwhile, in neighboring Connecticut, CNN reported, town and city election officials are mailing out some 20,000 absentee ballots just one week before the state’s Aug. 11 primary election. That’s a “major problem,” said Anna Posniak, the president of the Connecticut Town Clerks Association.

This comes on the heels of another problem, also in the Northeast, where 1 in 5 votes in May 12 municipal elections in Paterson, New Jersey, were disqualified amid allegations of voter fraud and voter intimidation—also tied to the all-mail balloting.

“There was a massive increase in mailed ballots, but not the proper resources to prepare for it,” Snead said of the New York primary on June 23. “There is a general lack of capacity in states dealing with so many absentee ballots, and an inability of many states to build the capacity for mail-in voting.”

In 2000, the presidential vote was so close in Florida between candidates George W. Bush, then governor of Texas, and then-Vice President Al Gore that it led to 36 days of recounts and court battles before Bush won the state’s electoral votes and the presidency.

Snead is concerned about the prospects for a repeat of that—and not just in the presidential race. That, he said, would be even more damaging for the country today.

“One thing distinct about 2020 from 2000 is that things are more contentious and more divided now,” he said. “There is far more partisan animosity.”

Given the sheer volume of voters in a presidential election, what happened in two New York congressional districts doesn’t bode well for November, said Hans von Spakovsky, a former member of the Federal Election Commission and a former member of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity in 2017.

“It took six weeks to count ballots in a primary” in one congressional district, von Spakovsky, now a senior legal fellow at The Heritage Foundation, told The Daily Signal. “So, imagine what could happen in November. This could be the largest voter disenfranchisement and longest wait for a presidential election outcome in history. This could dwarf what happened in Florida in 2000.”

Election officials should encourage in-person voting and conduct the same sanitation procedures at polling places that occur at retail stores and other public locations, von Spakovsky said, adding:

The New York election demonstrates all the vulnerabilities that could occur if we switch to an all-mail-in election in November, or if there is a huge increase in absentee voting.

COLUMN BY

Fred Lucas

Fred Lucas is the White House correspondent for The Daily Signal and co-host of “The Right Side of History” podcast. Lucas is also the author of “Tainted by Suspicion: The Secret Deals and Electoral Chaos of Disputed Presidential Elections.” Send an email to Fred. Twitter: @FredLucasWH.


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EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Signal column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Politics in One Page: Elections Are Great Illusions by Jeffrey A. Tucker

In every election season, a new generation comes of age and experiences the political theater for the first time. The experience is formative. It challenges you to decide what you think about the world. Which candidate best represents my values and shares my sense of how things ought to be? More fundamentally, how should things be in politics?

As time goes on and you experience successive presidential election cycles, illusions begin to fall away. You start to see the whole thing for what it is.

So this article is for those who do not yet see. It is a quick tutorial in political reality, and a way to avoid the pain and suffering that comes with gradually discovering that reality on your own.

Lesson 1: Your Vote Cannot Change the Election Outcome

It’s not that your vote doesn’t matter at all. It might matter, but the odds are incredibly thin. If you live in a swing state, you might have a 1 in 10 million chance of swinging the election. But on average, “a voter in America had a 1 in 60 million chance of being decisive in the presidential election,” concludes one statistical analysis in Economic Inquiry. As the authors indicate, you are more likely to die in an car crash on the way to the polls.

Why do so many people vote anyway? Are they deluded? Maybe, but many people treat voting as a consumption good, which is to say they enjoy it. It makes them feel patriotic. There’s nothing wrong with that, but if you are still voting in an attempt to affect the outcome — and are still spooked that your failure to vote might ruin everything — here is a solution. Find someone who will vote differently, and you can both decide to grab a drink together instead.

Lesson 2: You Are Voting for People, Not Policies

There are elections in this country in which people really do decide on issues. In state and local elections, there are referenda on bond issues, taxes, pot decriminalization, and so on. Exciting stuff! But at the federal level, no way. You are voting only on personnel. Sure, the candidates can promise this or that, but how they behave after the election is something over which you have no control — and there is no recourse if something goes wrong.

Wouldn’t it be grand if there were real national elections on issues? Let’s say that the ballots had lists of spending priorities, policy ideas, and methods of government management. How many people would vote for their smartphones to be surveilled? For ever-less choice in health care? For higher gas taxes? I don’t know the answer here, but it would be interesting, for once, to see. Direct democracy on issues is technologically feasible today. It is even possible to give people the government they actually want through subscription services. We don’t do it because the ruling class likes the system the way it is.

Lesson 3: These People Are Not Actually the Government

Last year, I calculated the number of government employees who are actually running the state and compared it to the number of people we elect. Depending on how you calculate this, we are permitted to elect between 0.02 percent and 0.0004 percent of those who are in charge of our lives. The unelected constitute the deep state that no one wants to talk about. You could ship the whole class of elected rulers to Zimbabwe for four years and it would make no difference.

But wait: Aren’t the elected rulers in charge of the rest? Not really. Most of the permanent bureaucracy can’t be fired, no matter what. In any case, delegation to professionals is what elected rulers specialize in. The first act of the president is to fill 3,000 positions with political appointees. Congressional offices are managed by DC hacks. Politicians are specialists in what they are doing now: trying to get elected. The day they take office is the day the next election begins.

Lesson 4: These Are Not the Only Options

The beginning of political wisdom comes with the realization that the mainstream candidates do not exhaust the ideological options. Candidate A says that health care policy should be this way, and candidate B says it should be that way. What neither candidate ever says is that perhaps health care should not be the responsibility of government at all. And this goes for every other issue in national life: communications, labor, energy, environment, foreign policy, and so on.

The whole conventional political debate is premised on the idea that government should be running things. What’s left out here is the greatest single idea ever discovered in the history of the social sciences: society runs itself better than any authority can run it.

This is true in economics but also in culture, security services, religion, and family life. Liberty just works better. The discovery of this truth built civilization. But that idea is absent from the options we are given. No matter: you can discover it on your own if you are brave enough to step outside the partisan paradigm.

Lesson 5: Social Change Happens Outside of Government

Every candidate will speak about his or her vision for America. They talk as if they want to be, can be, will be, in charge of pushing history forward. But look around: the progress you experience in your daily life has nothing to do with the political class. Think about the mobile applications you use to stay in touch with family, find directions in a new city, monitor your health, communicate with your network. These services were not granted by the political class. They came to us via entrepreneurs and enterprise, working themselves out in the course of social evolution.

In “Is Politics Obsolete?” Max Borders and I chronicled all the ways the world has changed over the last four years. It’s remarkable what’s happening today. It’s revolutionary. None of this was anticipated by the last election. And none of it is inspired by politicians. The change is coming from within the fabric of the social order. And that change is continuing by the day. If you want to be part of it, to make a difference in the world, the realm of enterprise and individual action is the sector for you. In many ways, the political theater is a distraction — a learning opportunity, yes, but ultimately not decisive for the kind of life we want to build.

The tendency to treat elections as personal moments in our lives might be a product of democracy. We are encouraged to believe that we are running the system. So we flatter ourselves that our opinions matter. After all, it is we the voters who are in charge of building the regime under which we live. But look deeper and you discover a truth that is both terrifying and glorious: the building of the great society can’t be outsourced. It is up to you and me.


Jeffrey A. Tucker

Jeffrey Tucker is Director of Digital Development at FEE, CLO of the startup Liberty.me, and editor at Laissez Faire Books. Author of five books, he speaks at FEE summer seminars and other events. His latest book is Bit by Bit: How P2P Is Freeing the World. Follow on Twitter and Like on Facebook.

Fraud in Florida – Dual Registered Voters

Absentee ballots are being delivered this week to the mail boxes of Florida voters in preparation for the August 14th primary. Retired FBI Special Agent Stu Senneff writes in an email, “Of particular interest to me is the subject of ‘voter fraud’ on a national basis but since I live here, specifically the possibility of voter fraud in Florida. Actually, I became interested subsequent to the Bush – Gore 2000 presidential election. Since Florida has a veritable plethora of home owners who spend part of the year in another state, I believed it not only possible but probable that persons could register to vote in more than one state. It is a simple matter to vote by absentee ballot in one or both of the states in which one resides.”

Russ Buettner, New York Daily News staff writer, wrote in an August 2004 article titled “Registered to Vote in City & Fla.“, “Some 46,000 New Yorkers are registered to vote in both the city [of New York] and Florida, a shocking finding that exposes both states to potential abuses that could alter the outcome of elections, a Daily News investigation shows.”

“Registering in two places is illegal in both states, but the massive snowbird scandal goes undetected because election officials don’t check rolls across state lines. The News found that between 400 and 1,000 registered voters have voted twice in at least one election, a federal offense punishable by up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine. One was Norman Siegel, 84, who is registered as a Republican in both Pinellas Park, Fla., and Briarwood, Queens. Siegel has voted twice in seven elections, including the last four presidential races, records show,” writes Buettner.

Former FBI Special Agent Senneff notes, “As a police officer and subsequently an FBI Agent, if I wanted to check to see if a person was wanted anywhere in the United States, I could simply provide the necessary background information and within a matter of seconds ascertain a person’s status. If I use my credit card in order to make a purchase, records are immediately checked with regard to the legitimacy of the credit card. . . I have often wondered why no such system exists on a Federal level for voting and indeed believed the lack of checking nationally may well have resulted in massive voter fraud over the years.”

Kathy Dent, Sarasota County Supervisor of Elections, responding to Senneff’s concern states, “Until we have a national voter registration database, we have no way of determining who is registered in more than one state. Florida does let other states know when a person registers here and they let us know on the application where they were previously registered. But that information is an optional field on the application and not required to be completed. A step in the right direction would be to get our legislature to require previous registrations.”

“We can determine if someone tries to register in two different Florida counties because of our statewide voter registration database. Therefore, we have no dual registrants in Florida,” notes Supervisor Dent.

Kansas is taking the lead in cleaning up registration rolls so that people won’t vote in two states. The architect of what is called the Kansas Project, or the Interstate Cross Check Project, is Kris W. Kobach, the Republican Secretary of State who was elected in 2010. Mr. Kobach has set up a database with 14 other states: Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Tennessee. Six more states are considering joining.

Supervisor Dent warns, “Florida law states it is a third degree felony punishable by a term of imprisonment not to exceed 5 years and/or a fine of up to $5000.00.”