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President Joe Biden speaks during the 59th Presidential Inauguration at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Jan. 20, 2021. (AP) President Joe Biden speaks during the 59th Presidential Inauguration at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Jan. 20, 2021. (AP)

President Joe Biden speaks during the 59th Presidential Inauguration at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Jan. 20, 2021. (AP)

Daniel Funke
By Daniel Funke February 10, 2021

Courts have affirmed Biden’s victory

If Your Time is short

  • President Joe Biden was sworn into office Jan. 20. All 50 states and the District of Columbia certified the results affirming his win, some following recounts and audits.

  • Trump and his allies filed dozens of lawsuits in state and federal courts to challenge the election results. Not one of them proved that voter fraud affected the election outcome.

Three weeks after President Joe Biden’s inauguration, some Facebook users are still pushing bogus claims about voter fraud in the 2020 election.

In a Feb. 7 post, one user wrote: "Not one court has looked at the evidence and said that Biden legally won."

"Not one," the post says. "Biden did not win legally."

The post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.) It has more than 6,000 shares.

Since Nov. 3, we’ve fact-checked scores of claims that falsely say widespread voter fraud swung the election in favor of Biden and that Donald Trump is the rightful president. This Facebook post is similarly wrong.

(Screenshot from Facebook)

One key point: It’s not up to courts to determine whether a presidential candidate won an election. Judges can hear legal challenges to the way elections are administered or votes are counted, and their decisions may affect the outcome of an election, but they don’t declare the winner.

Under the Constitution, states have the power to administer elections and count votes. The states certified their results, some following audits and recounts, almost two months ago. On Jan. 7, Congress finalized those results, which showed that Biden won with 306 electoral votes, to Trump’s 232. Biden won the popular vote by about 7 million.

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Biden was duly sworn into office Jan. 20. There is no evidence that voter fraud affected that outcome.

Election officials in every state said there was no sign of significant voter fraud during the voting process. The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency called the 2020 election "the most secure in American history." Former Attorney General William Barr said the Justice Department had uncovered no evidence of widespread fraud. 

Trump and his allies filed dozens of lawsuits in state and federal courts to challenge the election results. Not one of them proved that voter fraud affected the election outcome. 

The Trump campaign won one lawsuit related to reducing the amount of time Pennsylvania voters had to fix errors on their mail-in ballots. The matter involved a small number of ballots that didn’t change the outcome.

Some cases were rejected because plaintiffs failed to present any evidence of widespread voter fraud, while others were dismissed because they contained errors or faced jurisdictional problems. Cases were dismissed by Democratic-appointed and Republican-appointed judges. 

In his dismissal of a case seeking to have Wisconsin’s Republican-led Legislature allocate the state’s electoral votes instead of going by the result of the popular vote, U.S. District Judge Brett H. Ludwig — a Trump appointee — said Trump’s claims failed "as a matter of law and fact."

"A sitting president who did not prevail in his bid for reelection has asked for federal court help in setting aside the popular vote based on disputed issues of election administration, issues he plainly could have raised before the vote occurred," he wrote. "This court has allowed plaintiff the chance to make his case and he has lost on the merits."

The post is inaccurate and ridiculous. We rate it Pants on Fire!

RELATED: A note to our readers who think President Trump won

Our Sources

Associated Press, "Disputing Trump, Barr says no widespread election fraud," Dec. 1, 2020

Associated Press, "EXPLAINER: What’s with all the election audits?" Nov. 21, 2020

Associated Press, "Trump’s election lawsuits plagued by elementary errors," Nov. 19, 2020

C-SPAN, "President Biden 2021 Inaugural Ceremony," Jan. 20, 2021

Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, JOINT STATEMENT FROM ELECTIONS INFRASTRUCTURE GOVERNMENT COORDINATING COUNCIL & THE ELECTION INFRASTRUCTURE SECTOR COORDINATING EXECUTIVE COMMITTEES

Democracy Docket, DONALD J. TRUMP v. The WISCONSIN ELECTIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.: DECISION AND ORDER

Facebook post, Feb. 7, 2021

Federal Judicial Center, Ludwig, Brett Harry

Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, "Federal court judge dismisses 'extraordinary' Trump lawsuit seeking to overturn Wisconsin election," Dec. 12, 2020

National Archives, 2020 Electoral College Results

National Constitution Center, Elections Clause

NBC News, "Congress finalizes Biden win, Trump pledges 'orderly transition' as Capitol reels from mob assault," Jan. 7, 2021

The New York Times, "The Times Called Officials in Every State: No Evidence of Voter Fraud," Nov. 10, 2020

Ohio State University, KEY CASES ADDRESSING CLAIMS CONCERNING THE 2020 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION

PolitiFact, "Donald Trump has lost dozens of election lawsuits. Here’s why," Dec. 10, 2020

PolitiFact, "Fact-checking false claims about the 2020 election," Nov. 20, 2020

PolitiFact, "Trump did not win two-thirds of election lawsuits ‘where merits considered,’" Feb. 9, 2021

PolitiFact, "Joe Biden won the presidential election legally," Dec. 14, 2020

STANFORD-MIT HEALTHY ELECTIONS PROJECT, Donald J. Trump for President, Inc. v. Kathy Boockvar, et al.

USA Today, "By the numbers: President Donald Trump's failed efforts to overturn the election," Jan. 6, 2021

USA Today, "Fact check: Joe Biden legally won presidential election, despite persistent contrary claims," Dec. 15, 2020

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More by Daniel Funke

Courts have affirmed Biden’s victory

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