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Lehigh County workers count ballots as vote counting in the general election continues, Nov. 5, 2020, in Allentown, Pa. (AP) Lehigh County workers count ballots as vote counting in the general election continues, Nov. 5, 2020, in Allentown, Pa. (AP)

Lehigh County workers count ballots as vote counting in the general election continues, Nov. 5, 2020, in Allentown, Pa. (AP)

Tom Kertscher
By Tom Kertscher June 18, 2021

No evidence that 2020 vote results in Pa., where Trump lost, were ‘impossible’

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  • The counting of mail ballots, and the way it eroded Trump’s early advantage, was the expected result of Pennsylvania’s election rules — not fraud.

A blog post that argues for an audit of the 2020 presidential election in the swing state of Pennsylvania claims results there "show a statistically impossible pattern," and accuses election officials of deciding to "manufacture" votes for Joe Biden.

The post, widely shared on Facebook, 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.)

The blog post appears on DJHJ Media, a website that describes itself as "an opinion and commentary source for conservatives." The letters stand for David J. Harris Jr., a supporter of former President Donald Trump, who lost to Biden.

The article attempts to raise suspicion by recalling that Trump initially led in Pennsylvania’s election night vote tallies. It also casts doubt on Biden’s share of the absentee ballot haul, stating, "Biden took 80% of the absentee ballots. That seems quite unbelievably high, bordering on the impossible."

Numerous claims of fraud in Pennsylvania were made by Trump and others, without evidence. In fact, the gains that Biden made during the standard counting of mail ballots after Election Day were expected, as detailed in our past fact-checking.

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On election night, Trump appeared to have a strong "lead" in Pennsylvania, but in the days after, as more mail ballots were processed and counted, Biden pulled ahead and ultimately won by more than 80,000 votes, or about 1%. The counting of mail ballots, and the way it eroded Trump’s early advantage, was the expected result of Pennsylvania’s election rules — not fraud. The counting process took longer than in other states because elections officials were prohibited from starting their work before Election Day.

Most of the votes counted on Election Day were cast in person, and two-thirds of them were for Trump. Trump had spent months falsely attacking mail voting as susceptible to widespread fraud, which discouraged his supporters from using the method. Biden and Democrats encouraged their supporters to vote by mail, and in the end, Biden won more than three-quarters of Pennsylvania’s mail ballots.

Trump’s lawyers asked a federal judge to invalidate Pennsylvania’s election results, vowing to present proof of widespread voter fraud — but they never did. And Trump’s challenge didn’t apply to enough votes to alter the result.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reported June 4 that Republican leaders of the Pennsylvania General Assembly face growing pressure, including from Trump, to audit the election. But the GOP lawmaker who heads a committee that held 10 hearings on the state’s election system said the state House would not authorize such an audit.

Trump had a "lead" in the early vote tallies because the counting of mail ballots, per Pennsylvania election rules, took longer than ballots cast at the polls, and it was expected that Biden would make gains through the mail vote. No evidence of fraud has been established. We rate the post False.

 

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No evidence that 2020 vote results in Pa., where Trump lost, were ‘impossible’

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