John Lott has published a paper in which he applies three tests for voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election. (I wrote about Lott’s analysis while it was still a work in progress here.) The paper is here.
Lott begins by looking at adjacent precincts that are in different counties. He did this for Fulton County, Georgia and Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. The operative assumption is that precincts across the street from one another shouldn’t vote very differently (Lott controlled for demographic factors), suggesting that significant differences among the precincts relate to vote counting at the county level. This analysis found at least 10,000 extra votes for Biden in those two counties.
Next, Lott applies the same approach to provisional ballots in Allegheny County, where voters were illegally allowed to correct defects in absentee ballots by submitting provisional ballots on election day. Lott finds an extra 6,700 Biden votes because of this illegality.
Finally, Lott looks at voter turnout in counties where fraud has been alleged to see whether it was artificially higher than voter turnout in control counties in the same states. The analysis is complicated, but Lott finds an excess 255,000 Biden votes in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.
There is, of course, a great deal of evidence of voter fraud in the 2020 election, as Lott reminds us in this paper:
Not just in Georgia, but also in Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, critics alleged that large numbers of in-person voters were not legally registered (Navarro 2020). In Fulton County, Georgia, 2,423 voters were not listed on the State’s records as registered, and 2,560 felons voted even though they had not completed their sentences.13,14
Republican plaintiffs in the United States District Court for the District of Arizona claimed that up to 94,975 voters returned absentee ballots that were marked as unreturned and, hence, not counted. Peter Navarro’s (2020, p. 9) election report characterizes those lost or destroyed ballots as “consistent with allegations of Trump ballot destruction.”
[A] legal challenge in Georgia’s Fulton County Superior Court by State Republican Chairman David Shafer and President Donald Trump revealed hundreds of thousands of possible extra votes: 40,279 people who had moved within the state without re-registering; 4,926 voters who registered in another state after they had registered in Georgia; 305,701 people who, according to state records, applied for absentee ballots past the application deadline; 66,247 ineligible voters under 17 years of age; 2,560 felons; 8,718 who remained on the voting rolls after they were dead; and 2,423 who were not listed on the state’s voter rolls.22
In Nevada, more than 42,000 people voted more than once.23 … More than 1,500 dead people allegedly voted. Another 19,000 voters didn’t live in the state (excluding military personnel or students). In excess of 1,000 voters listed non-existent addresses.
Similarly, 28,395 people allegedly voted without identification in Madison and Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Republican lawyers claimed that 200,000 absentee ballots did not submit the proper signatures.24 Payments to Native Americans to vote allegedly were “orchestrated by the Biden campaign . . . [with] Visa gift cards, jewelry, and other ‘swag’” (Navarro 2020, p. 8; Bedard 2020).
Further, it is obvious that in some major counties, mail-in ballots were scarcely scrutinized at all, creating a wide-open path to fraud:
For example, Ballotpedia notes that in the 2016 general election, Georgia rejected 6.42% of absentee ballots, but that rate was only 0.60% in 2020 – a difference of about 76,971 votes.25 Other swing states also saw drops in rejection rates, although they were much smaller than Georgia’s. Pennsylvania’s rejection rate went from 0.95% in 2016 to 0.28% in 2020, a difference of 17,361 votes.
It should have been obvious, but apparently came as a surprise to many, that there is no effective after-the-fact remedy for voter fraud. Once ballots are cast and counted, the game is over. Recounts will only tabulate the same fraudulent ballots a second time. Litigation can’t possibly succeed in the time available, 2 1/2 months from Election Day to Inauguration. Voter fraud that is successfully carried out on a mass scale cannot be undone. The only effective approach is to tighten up procedures to prevent fraud from happening in the first place. (This is why Democrats fight tooth and nail against voter ID requirements and all other election security measures.)
Some states have tried to reform their election procedures since 2020, but the biggest difference in 2022 probably will be that “emergency” covid-related relaxation of standards for mail-in voting, no doubt a significant facilitator of fraud, will no longer apply. We will find out in November whether voter fraud has been curbed, at least to some degree.