President Donald Trump, unwilling to concede an election loss to President-elect Joe Biden, is reportedly planning to hold campaign-style rallies in support of his push to dispute the outcome of last week’s contest.
Those rallies, per reporting from Axios, are set to include Trump reading off names from newspaper obituaries, alleging that those individuals had voted in the election even though they were dead.
Trump’s unsubstantiated attempts to suggest that deceased individuals participated in the election may be accepted by his most ardent supporters, but there is no evidence of any kind to support that claim. Indeed, the multiple allegations of posthumous voting appearing on social media have been thoroughly debunked by fact-checking sites.
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One claim that 21,000 dead individuals in Pennsylvania had voted spread on social media late last week, but was proven to be completely baseless upon closer inspection. Another claim, shared by Donald Trump Jr., purported that a man in Michigan who shared the same name as his deceased father had voted on his behalf. That claim was also exaggerated, as it was a clerical error that had mixed up the names of the father and son. Besides, only one vote was cast under the name in question and the error was corrected.
Yet another claim that spread on Twitter last week insisted that thousands of deceased individuals in Michigan had taken part in that state’s election. A CNN analysis of a sample of 50 names on that list found that, indeed, some of those included were deceased. However, the claim that those individuals had cast ballots in this election was false, the analysis noted. Individuals on the list who had voted, it turned out, were very much alive and had been erroneously included on that list.
Opinions within the White House appear to be mixed over whether Trump should continue his baseless fight against the electoral outcome or concede defeat. Some news agencies have reported that the president’s wife, Melania Trump, has asked Trump to concede, as has his son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner.
Other media organizations, however, have said Kushner is fully behind Trump’s efforts to contest the results, alongside Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani and campaign adviser Jason Miller.
Biden was announced the winner of the 2020 presidential election on Saturday, after a week of vote counting showed that he had pulled ahead of Trump in several key states. After Pennsylvania was announced as a clear win for Biden, the Associated Press made the call that the former vice president had won the race, breaching the 270 Electoral College vote threshold in order to beat Trump.
In addition to Pennsylvania, Nevada was also called for Biden over the weekend. Biden is currently leading in Arizona and Georgia and has won in two other states that Hillary Clinton had lost to Trump four years ago: Wisconsin and Michigan.
According to a recent poll, the number of Americans who are likely to believe Trump’s accusations of voter fraud will be small but still significant. A Navigator/Global Strategy Group poll, conducted from November 4 to 5, found that only 31 percent of Americans lacked confidence that the election’s outcome was accurate, while 69 percent said they were sure or mostly sure that the results reflected how people had voted.