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US election: Has there been voter fraud? Is Donald Trump right?

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Days since the election was held, on Saturday, November 7 Joe Biden was declared the winner of the US election. Mr Biden won the state of Pennsylvania, taking his total number of electoral college votes above the 270 threshold needed for the presidency. Mr Biden will be the 46th President of the United States, and incumbent President Donald Trump has not won a second term in office.

Has there been voter fraud in the US election?

Even before Mr Biden emerged as the election’s winner, Mr Trump frequently made baseless claims of voter fraud while campaigning for the election.

Millions of Americans voted by mail-in ballot in this election, and Mr Biden backed the use of postal votes due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Mr Biden stated earlier this year mail-in ballots would “make it easier for everybody to be able to vote”.

But as vote counts have continued for days after the election, Trump supporters have claimed votes received ahead of the election have been counted illegally.

However in light of the pandemic, a number of states have allowed mail-in votes to be counted days after the election, providing they are postmarked for election day, to account for the increased demand on postal services.

Although there is lacking evidence for voter fraud in this election, Mr Trump has filed a number of lawsuits to challenge the results of the US election.

Mr Trump’s allegations of election fraud were backed by a number of his supporters, and some have demonstrated in “Stop the Steal” protests outside state capitol buildings in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Arizona.

Mr Trump said of his opponent’s declaration of victory: “We all know why Joe Biden is rushing to falsely pose as the winner and why his media allies are trying so hard to help him: they don’t want the truth to be exposed. The simple fact is this election is far from over.

“Joe Biden has not been certified as the winner of any states, let alone any of the highly contested states headed for mandatory recounts, or states where our campaign has valid and legitimate legal challenges that could determine the ultimate victor.

“In Pennsylvania, for example, our legal observers were not permitted meaningful access to watch the counting process. Legal votes decide who is president, not the news media.”

Mr Trump added: “Beginning (on) Monday, our campaign will start prosecuting our case in court to ensure election laws are fully upheld and the rightful winner is seated.

“The American people are entitled to an honest election: that means counting all legal ballots and not counting any illegal ballots.

“This is the only way to ensure the public has full confidence in our election.”

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Is Donald Trump right about voter fraud?

Elections officials in states across the country say there has been no evidence of significant fraud, and legal experts also say Mr Trump’s efforts are unlikely to succeed.

Federal Election Commission commissioner Ellen Weintraub told CNN: “There is no evidence of illegal votes being cast.

“In fact, and you don’t have to take my word for it because people throughout the country, nonpartisan election experts have come out and hailed this election and how it was run.

“If you want to look at the state of Pennsylvania, which the president seems to be focused on, Senator (Pat) Toomey has come out and said he has seen no evidence of fraud there.

“The Republican leader of the state senate there has also said he has seen no evidence of fraud.”

The Brennan Center for Justice at New York School of Law found in their ‘The Truth About Voter Fraud’ review that incident rates were between “0.0003 percent and 0.0025 percent”.

Overwhelmingly, evidence suggests mail-in voting is safe and is not fraudulent.

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