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Tom Kertscher
By Tom Kertscher July 22, 2021

Proof has not emerged to change Joe Biden’s election or his wins in Ariz., Ga.

If Your Time is short

  • Lawsuits, recounts and audits have not produced evidence to change Biden’s election, or his close wins in Arizona and Georgia.

A meme falsely suggests that reviews of the 2020 presidential vote in two swing states show that Donald Trump won the election.

"Arizona & Georgia now have the proof," says the post, which includes a photo of a smiling Joe Biden. "You are not our elected president!"

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’s understandable if the results in Arizona and Georgia were jarring to Trump supporters. He had won both states in 2016; in 2020, they were decided by a fraction of a percentage point.

Arizona: Biden: 1,672,143 votes, 49.36%; Trump: 1,661,686 votes, 49.06%.

Georgia: Biden: 2,473,633 votes, 49.5%; Trump: 2,461,854 votes; 49.26%.

But months of multiple reviews have not produced evidence to change the result in either state, much less Biden’s election, which was certified by Congress hours after a pro-Trump mob’s Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Arizona’s result stands

Arizona’s Maricopa County, home to Phoenix, conducted a hand count audit of a sample of ballots as required by state law and hired independent firms to conduct a forensic audit of tabulation equipment. The county found no abnormalities. 

But Republicans in the Arizona Senate hired a team including Cyber Ninjas, which has no prior experience auditing elections, to audit the Maricopa County results. The company’s head, Doug Logan, was part of the "stop the steal" conspiracy theories about the election that culminated in the Jan. 6 Capitol attack. 

Claims arising from the audit that we’ve debunked include: 

  • Trump said "74,243 mail-in ballots were counted with 'no clear record of them being sent.'" Our rating: False. The claim was based on confusion over the early voting process and a misuse of Maricopa County documents. 

  • Trump said: "The entire Database of Maricopa County in Arizona has been DELETED!" Our rating: False. His claim was made after a tweet from the audit stated that the county "deleted a directory full of election databases." Three days after Trump’s claim, the head of a firm helping with the audit essentially walked back the database claim.

  • Trump stated: "Republican state senators" who started an audit of 2020 election results in Maricopa County are "exposing this fraud." Our rating: False. The audit is ongoing and no official findings have been released.

  • A post shared on Facebook claimed: "A quarter of a million illegal votes found in Arizona’s audit." Our rating: False. The claim was based on speculation by a former adviser to Trump, not any audit finding.

Separate from the audit, county election officials across the state have identified fewer than 200 cases of potential voter fraud out of more than 3 million ballots cast, the Associated Press reported.

Georgia’s result stands

Citing a history of election mismanagement in Fulton County, home to Atlanta, Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger on July 15 called for the firing of two of the county’s top election officials. 

But the original count, plus the two recounts, all confirmed Biden’s victory in Georgia.

We’ve debunked claims about Georgia, as well, including:

  • Fox News talk show host Tucker Carlson said: "It now appears there actually was meaningful voter fraud in Fulton County, Georgia, last November. That is not a conspiracy theory. It's true." Our rating: False. Carlson made several allegations — including about an elections warehouse alarm, double-scanned ballots and mail-in ballots without creases — that were false, misleading or unsubstantiated.

  • A Facebook post claimed: "4,255 ballots in Fulton County, Georgia, were scanned multiple times" and "3,390 went to Biden." Our rating: False. Some 200 ballots initially were double-counted. But the double-count, once identified, didn’t change the official result of Biden defeating Trump in Georgia, and there’s no evidence of thousands of double-counts.

  • An article stated: "Records suggest more than 100 batches of absentee ballots in Fulton County could be missing." Our rating: False. There is no evidence of batches of missing absentee ballots.

  • The claim in a viral image was that "132,000 ballots in Fulton County, Ga., have been identified as likely ineligible," and Trump might win Georgia as a result. Our rating: False. The claim appeared to be based on a pollster’s own queries of voter files, with no indication that he attempted to verify the legitimacy of his claim with election officials. 

Our ruling

Biden won more votes than Trump in what local, state and federal officials affirmed was a free and fair election. Recounts didn’t change the outcome. States certified their results. Judges in courtrooms across the country rejected dozens of lawsuits seeking to overturn the election on Trump’s behalf. The nation’s electors cast their votes and sealed Biden’s victory.

Nothing has happened to change the results in Arizona and Georgia. We rate the claim that Biden is not the elected president as Pants on Fire!

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More by Tom Kertscher

Proof has not emerged to change Joe Biden’s election or his wins in Ariz., Ga.

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