In the wee hours of the morning, with the results still up in the air, President Donald Trump falsely claimed himself the victor of the 2020 presidential race. Right-wing political operatives were waiting in the wings, ready to boost Trump’s narrative of voter fraud and Democrats determined to snatch victory from real Americans.
While Trump led in the ballot count in the early hours last night, more ballots for Democratic nominee Joe Biden began being tallied as poll workers began to count mail-in ballots. By the time most Americans woke up Wednesday morning, Biden was again in the lead. In-person ballots are generally counted first, and Trump and Republicans urged their voters to vote in person on Election Day despite the raging coronavirus pandemic.
On Sunday, Axios had reported that Trump would declare himself victor on Election Day if it looked like he was ahead. Trump had denied the report at the time but did just that early Wednesday morning. Right-wing groups and political operatives have been laying the groundwork for months to declare any Biden win a result of voter fraud, even though there is no such indication.
“Why did they stop counting votes? Because Trump and the Republicans were winning?” Dinesh D’Souza, a right-wing commentator and director of the pro-Trump movie “Trump Card,” tweeted this morning.
“Democrats beat Republicans without campaigning and with ballots that can’t be sourced, media report,” right-wing political operative and “Pizzagate” conspiracy theory-booster Alexander Ali falsely claimed on Twitter. He added clown and globe emojis–likely to indicate his narrative that the “globalists” had done something nefarious.
Democrats beat Republicans without campaigning and with ballots that can’t be sourced, media report. ??
— Ali ? (@ali) November 4, 2020
“Needlessly and purposefully delaying the counting of ballots until after Election Day is strong evidence of malintent,” Tom Fitton of Judicial Watch claimed on Twitter. In states where the race is close, it can take poll workers days to count ballots. Mail-in ballots are often counted after in-person ballots, and mail-in voting was a primary way Democrats voted. Secretaries of states, analysts, and others have indicated that it would likely take days to declare a winner in numerous states.
Needlessly and purposefully delaying the counting of ballots until after Election Day is strong evidence of malintent. #VoterFraud
— Tom Fitton (@TomFitton) November 4, 2020
Nevertheless, Fitton, whose right-wing legal outfit has pushed narratives about mass voter fraud, ignored precedent cases of presidents not being decided on Election Day and suggested that all ballots must be counted by Election Day. “Election Day, by federal law, is on Nov. 3 Not Nov. 4 nor Nov. 6, etc,” he said in one tweet. In another, he called on the Justice Department to investigate “any decision to call a ‘time out’ in the counting of ballots.”
Warned last night of "last gasp" efforts of the Left to subvert @RealDonaldTrump victory by continuing to "count" votes after Election Day deadlines contrary to law. @LouDobbs https://t.co/TaDnJsNor5 https://t.co/inL0P45Sjw
— Tom Fitton (@TomFitton) November 4, 2020
The night before Fitton had been on Fox Business with host Lou Dobbs, warning of what he called “last gasp” efforts to “subvert” a Trump victory by counting votes after Election Day. (He then cried censorship and attacked Twitter, which had labeled the content in his tweet as “disputed” and indicated that it “might be misleading about an election or other civic process.”)
Right-wing commentator Candace Owens, who recently announced she’ll be joining the Daily Wire, echoed such claims, tweeting around 9 a.m., “This is a statistical impossibility— LOL. Time to open an investigation. Democrats are trying to cheat. There is no denying that now.” In another, she added, “Every mail-in-ballot needs to be audited in MI, WI, & PA. It’s that simple. If the Democrats are being honest and legitimate, they will not fight this audit at all. The statistical impossibility of 100% of 140k overnight ballots going to Joe Biden has made this necessary.”
Owens had also amplified the false claim by Mike Coudrey that Wisconsin had more votes than people on Election Day. She has since deleted her tweet.
Trump sycophant Wayne Allyn Root was another source of that false claim, tweeting that there was “Obviously embarrassing fraud in Wisconsin & Michigan (& trying in Pennsylvania).” He added that “My friends & fans won’t accept,” and hinted at some sort of action by them, “You have no idea what’s coming.”
Meanwhile, the head of Phyllis Schlafly Eagles, Ed Martin, who has been fear-mongering about voter fraud for months, sent an email blast calling on Biden to concede the race and falsely claiming the only way Biden could win was through voter fraud.
Joe Biden should concede immediately and not repeat the horrendous mistakes of Al Gore in 2000. The Biden campaign has lost the race and now Biden and the media are simply trying to damage America by fighting after losing. The race is over because Biden is trailing in PA, MI, WI, and other states by margins that could only be overcome by fraud. Arizona is far from over.
The left is trying to drag this fight out as long as they can, but conservatives cannot succumb to weariness or intimidation. We need to keep fighting. Victory is ours as long as we don’t let the media and crooked election officials snatch it from us!
Right-wing political operatives attacked mail-in voting, claiming it is ripe for widespread voter fraud, as soon as Democrats began to encourage Americans to vote by mail to avoid contracting COVID-19. This widespread voter fraud narrative, however, is not based in facts. As election expert Lawrence Nordon of the Brennan Center for Justice said in August, “Somebody is more likely to be struck by lightning than they are to commit voter fraud.”