States cite smooth election, despite Trump’s baseless claims

ATLANTA — The 2020 election unfolded smoothly across the country and without any widespread irregularities, according to state officials and election experts, a stark contrast to the baseless claims of fraud being leveled by President Donald Trump following his defeat.

Election experts said the large increase in advance voting — 107 million people voting early in person and by mail — helped take pressure off Election Day operations. There were also no incidents of violence at the polls or voter intimidation.

“The 2020 general election was one of the smoothest and most well-run elections that we have ever seen, and that is remarkable considering all the challenges,” said Ben Hovland, a Democrat appointed by Trump to serve on the Election Assistance Commission, which works closely with officials on election administration.

Following Democrat Joe Biden’s victory, Trump has sought to discredit the integrity of the election and argued without evidence that the results will be overturned. Republican lawmakers have said the president should be allowed to launch legal challenges, though many of those lawsuits have already been turned away by judges and those that remain do not include evidence of problems that would change the outcome of the race.

In Wisconsin, a battleground state where Biden narrowly edged Trump, top election official Meagan Wolfe said there were no problems with the election reported to her office and no complaints filed alleging any irregularities.

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel, a Democrat, said the same was true in her state, which Biden also won.

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“Let me be clear — the November elections in Michigan ran as smoothly as ever,” Nessel said, adding that there were no “instances of irregularities in the process of counting the votes, only evidence-free allegations, wild speculation, and conspiracy theories.”

Ahead of Election Day, the pandemic upended longstanding voting plans and forced election officials to make systemic changes largely on the fly. They did so with limited federal money to cover increased costs for mail ballots, which take more staff and money to send, process and count.

After problems erupted during spring primaries, the nation worried whether election officials could pull off a problem-free presidential election during a pandemic while confronting the threat of foreign interference from sophisticated adversaries led by Russia.

“In the spring, there were just so many challenges we were facing, and we were just wondering how we were going to manage to do it,” said Larry Norden, an elections expert with the Brennan Center for Justice. “It’s an incredible story.”

Long before a single ballot was cast, Trump raised questions about the integrity of the election and railed against mail voting despite a long history of mail ballots being used successfully in this country. At one point, he claimed the only way he could lose was if the election were rigged.

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Source:: The Denver Post – Politics

      

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