More voting software FUD falls flat after Trump highlights dubious data

Reports that Dominion Software, which provides voting tabulation tools to about half the states in the U.S., “deleted” millions of votes have been soundly rebuffed after outgoing President Trump parroted numbers from a random internet forum.

Tweeting Thursday morning about baseless claims of election fraud, Trump cited OANN, a right-wing news outlet, which itself seemed to have found its numbers in a thread on pro-Trump Reddit knock-off (The tweet was quickly wrapped in a warning that the contents are disputed.)

The anonymous person posting there claimed to have compared numbers from Edison Research, a company that does exit polls and other election-related measures, to those from Dominion, and come up with very different sums. The methods are not very well explained, nor are the results. It’s not really clear what is being compared to what and why, or for what reason this alleged fraud was published publicly by the company supposedly perpetrating it. No one has verified (if that’s the word) this analysis in any way.

In a comment to Politifact, Edison President Larry Rosin wrote that “we have no evidence of any voter fraud,” and that it pretty much has no idea what the purported analysis is referring to.

Dominion attracted attention earlier in the week when it seemed that a glitch had caused a number of votes to be registered for President-elect Joe Biden instead of Trump. But the miscount was immediately caught and found to be the result of human error. The company has dedicated a page to combating the misinformation around its software.

Politifact rated Trump’s claim “Pants on Fire,” calling it “ridiculous” for good measure. It’s worth noting that the tweet didn’t even state the numbers of the supposed fraud correctly.

There doesn’t seem to be any merit to the “analysis” at all, but it provides an excellent example of how people who are unfamiliar with how the voting apparatus works — which is to say almost everyone not directly involved — tend to find the software portion inherently untrustworthy.

Yet there is no way to count, tabulate and verify millions of ballots in hours or days after an election that does not rely heavily on private software tools, and it is in fact highly reliable and secure. The process of elections is bipartisan and extremely closely monitored.

Elections commissioners and state leadership have been unanimous in declaring the election a surprisingly smooth one considering the difficulties of holding one during a pandemic and with extremely high turnout both in person and by mail.

A major federal committee under the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security agency today called last week’s election “the most secure in American history… There is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised. We can assure you we have the utmost confidence in the security and integrity of our elections, and you should too.”

Despite accusations from a dwindling number of highly placed individuals in the government, there has been no evidence presented that there was any significant voter fraud or other irregularities in last week’s election, which resulted in the victory of former vice president, now President-elect Joe Biden.

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