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The 2020 US presidential election was one of the most contentious in recent history, with allegations of widespread voter fraud circulating in some circles. A documentary titled “2000 Mules,” directed by conservative commentator Dinesh D’Souza, claimed to provide evidence of such fraud. However, a fact-check conducted by Reuters examined the main claims made in the film and found no concrete evidence to support the allegations. Let’s delve into the analysis and explore why experts dismissed the claims of widespread voter fraud.
Analyzing the Claims
The “2000 Mules” documentary focused on alleged voter fraud in five swing states: Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. The film suggested that the victories of Joe Biden in these states could be attributed to 2,000 people, dubbed “mules,” who were hired by unnamed nonprofits to engage in “ballot trafficking.” These individuals were purportedly paid $10 for every fake ballot they submitted.
To support these claims, the documentary relied on geotracking data purchased from undisclosed sources, as well as surveillance footage of drop boxes, mainly from Georgia. However, experts raised several concerns about the methodology employed. Geotracking data obtained from cellphone apps can determine device location but does not establish whether individuals were actually using the drop boxes. It lacks the necessary granularity to distinguish between someone walking or driving by and someone depositing a ballot.
Furthermore, the accuracy and validity of the geotracking data were questioned by experts. The documentary claimed that the data had the reliability of a fingerprint, but experts disagreed, pointing out that the reported accuracy of 12 to 18 inches was implausible. Real-world conditions and limitations would result in larger errors.
Drop boxes, which are typically located in high-traffic areas, could explain heightened cell phone activity near them. The documentary failed to consider innocent reasons for increased activity during the election period, such as election workers checking or emptying the drop boxes. Additionally, True the Vote, the nonprofit organization involved in the documentary, did not provide information on how they identified individuals or ruled out innocent explanations for their presence near the drop boxes.
The documentary also presented surveillance footage as evidence of fraudulent activity. However, the clips shown did not provide conclusive proof of fraud. For instance, multiple ballots being posted at once, while suspicious, does not necessarily indicate fraud, as ballot harvesting is legal in some states, including Georgia. The presence of gloves worn by a woman posting a ballot was presented as a sign of illicit behavior, but it could be attributed to COVID-19 precautions.
Lack of Concrete Evidence
The “2000 Mules” documentary speculates that 380,000 fraudulent ballots existed and suggests that, if all were for Biden, they could have influenced the election outcome. However, experts emphasized the difficulty of forging such a large number of ballots without detection. The process would involve acquiring special paper, unique barcodes, and envelopes, as well as successfully forging signatures and depositing the ballots without arousing suspicion. Experts argued that it is highly improbable for hundreds of thousands of people to keep such a secret.
It is important to note that numerous courts, state governments, and election security officials have rejected claims of widespread voter fraud in the 2020 election. Former US Attorney General William Barr, a member of Trump’s administration, stated that he had not seen evidence that would have changed the election results. More than 50 lawsuits alleging fraud were dismissed by state and federal judges.
After a thorough examination, the claims made in the documentary “2000 Mules” do not hold up to scrutiny. The evidence presented, including geotracking data and surveillance footage, fails to provide concrete proof of widespread voter fraud in the 2020 US presidential election. Experts have highlighted limitations and flaws in the methodology employed by the documentary, questioning the accuracy and validity of the data.
The election was deemed secure by election security officials, and numerous legal challenges alleging fraud were dismissed. It is crucial to rely on factual information and credible sources when evaluating claims of voter fraud or any other significant allegations that impact the democratic process. By critically analyzing the evidence, we can ensure the integrity of elections and preserve the public’s trust in our democratic systems.