In an all-caps tweet from the White House, Donald Trump sensationally claimed that 2.7 million votes cast for him in last week’s election were “deleted” by an electronic voting system.
It goes back to claims made about a Canadian company called Dominion Voting Systems, one of three major companies that makes software for local governments in the United States to help them conduct their elections.
It basically makes machines for voters to cast ballots and for election workers to count them.
In last week’s vote, the software was used in several states that have alleged fraud – including Michigan and Georgia, and North Carolina and Nevada, where election results are being questioned.
The software was launched in the United States in recent years, but some states have rejected it. Texas, for example, refused to use it three times because it didn’t meet basic safety standards.
Now right-wing media outlets say software was used to switch votes and even suggest the company put in the Clintons’ bid – a conspiracy theory shared by Trump on Twitter.
On Wednesday, the president’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, said he was in contact with Dominion “whistleblowers”. And overnight, Mr. Trump tweeted allegations that Dominion had “deleted” and “swapped” hundreds of thousands of votes for him.
While there is no evidence to support the claims on the scale the President is talking about, there have been some problems with software “glitches”.
Election officials in Michigan confirmed that a software bug initially cast approximately 5,000 votes for Mr. Trump to Mr. Biden in Antrim County, causing manual recounts, extended voting hours, and delayed results.
The first results, which showed Mr Biden with a lead of around 3000 votes, raised eyebrows in the republican stronghold, so that the election officials checked again.
You were right to be skeptical. The correct numbers showed that Mr. Trump beat Mr. Biden with about 2,500 votes in the county.
In a statement, state officials said the bug was an “isolated user bug” that will not affect election results.
They said the software on the machines was not updated properly – which means the voices were counted accurately by the machines, but the results they showed were wrong.
In Georgia, election day early morning voting in Morgan and Spalding counties was suspended when Dominion machines were involved in a problem with a subcontractor’s electronic voting books. The technicians solved the problem, and Mr Trump easily carried both districts.
In Oakland County, Michigan, election officials also discovered a bug after first reporting the unofficial censuses.
The Michigan State Department said they incorrectly counted votes twice from the city of Rochester Hills, Michigan.
The New York Times According to reports, the revised numbers showed that an incumbent Republican district commissioner had retained his seat and not lost it. Oakland County was using software from a company called Hart InterCivic, not Dominion, and the software was not held responsible for the error.
However, Dominion also has problems with several of its affiliates that it has deployed for suspected fraud in overseas elections.
One subsidiary is Smartmatic, a company that, according to AccessWire, “has played a significant role in the US market for the past decade”.
Litigation over Smartmatic glitches allegedly impacted the 2010 and 2013 midterm elections in the Philippines, raising questions about election fraud. An independent review of the machines revealed serious problems.
“The software inventory provided by Smartmatic is insufficient, which calls into question the credibility of the software,” reported ABS-CBN.
Then there are allegations – coming from right-wing news websites – that the company has close ties with the Democrats.
The National Pulse claims that Dominion is “predominantly occupied by democratic donors”.
It is reported that, from 2014 to 2020, nine people citing “Dominion Voting” or “Dominion Voting Systems” as employers contributed money to national political campaigns, including the 2020 presidential election. With a total of 96 donations, the total adds up to $ 1,241.15.
“Employee positions span the entire process of the voting system from setup to tabulation, including software developers, network technicians, software production specialists, and implementation managers,” it says.
“Of the 96 donations, 92 – or 95.8 percent – went to Democratic candidates, mostly through ActBlue. This means that of the $ 1,241.15 a total of $ 1,154.90 was used to strengthen the Democrats. ”
Referring to the allegations in a detailed response on its website, Dominion has stated that it categorically rejects any allegations of a change of vote or alleged software problems with its voting systems.
“Dominion systems continue to count ballots reliably and accurately, and state and local electoral authorities have publicly confirmed the integrity of the process,” it said overnight.
There was then a breakdown of some of the allegations it has faced in the past few days and the “facts” that clarified them.
One of these is the assertion repeated by Mr Trump that the company has close ties with the Clintons.
Dominion said it made a one-time philanthropic commitment at a Clinton Global Initiative meeting in 2014, but the Clinton Foundation had no involvement or involvement in its operations.
There were no credible reports or evidence of software problems, and claims that software updates were made the night before election day were “100 percent false”.
Mr Trump’s claim that 2.7 million votes were stolen from the machines remains unfounded.
According to Politifact, a fact-checking website, the allegations were based on an OANN report that stated there was “unaudited analysis of data from Edison Research.”
Edison Research is a company that contracts with the National Election Pool, a consortium of American news organizations, to provide outgoing election data during election cycles.
The company said it couldn’t find any data to support OANN’s report or Mr Trump’s tweet.
Politifact said the claim was “imprecise and ridiculous”.
“Edison Research has informed us that they have found no evidence of election fraud. Dominion, state election officials and federal officials say there is no evidence that millions of votes have been counted incorrectly, ”it said.
On its website, the U.S. Agency for Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security says that bad actors couldn’t change the number of votes undetected, even if they tried.
“The systems and processes used by election officials to tabulate votes and certify official results are protected by various safeguards that help ensure the accuracy of the election results,” says the agency.
“These protective measures include measures that ensure that table systems function as intended, protect against harmful software and enable irregularities to be identified and corrected.”
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