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False claims question Biden 2020 victory

April 9, 2021 GMT

CLAIM: Former President Donald Trump won the 2020 election. Democrats cheated.

AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. President Joe Biden defeated Trump in the 2020 presidential election, earning 306 electoral votes to Trump’s 232. State officials from both parties, election security experts and former Republican Attorney General William Barr said the election went smoothly with no evidence of widespread fraud.

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THE FACTS: Months after Biden was sworn in as the 46th president of the United States, some of his opponent’s most ardent supporters continued to push Trump’s false narrative that the election was stolen and Biden’s win was illegitimate. That claim resurfaced this week on social media.

“Trump Won. Democrats Cheated,” claimed Instagram posts with thousands of likes in April 2021.

“Donald Trump won, why wait till 2024,” a Facebook user wrote.

There is no evidence of the widespread fraud that Trump and his allies have claimed. Republican and Democratic election officials have certified the election as valid. Courts have rejected lawsuit after lawsuit, and a clear majority of Congress has confirmed the final result despite a riotous mob in January that sought to disrupt the process.

State and local election officials have called the November election one of the smoothest in recent memory, with voting spread out across days and even weeks rather than a crush of people at polling places on Election Day. Even Trump’s former attorney general, William Barr, said he saw no evidence of widespread fraud.

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And the fact that so many people voted using a paper ballot, which guarantees a record in the event of a dispute, prompted a coalition of government and election security officials, including representatives of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s cybersecurity agency, to issue a statement calling 2020 the “most secure” election. 

In voting districts across the country, election officials used verification methods to ensure the totals were correct, and investigated discrepancies. In Georgia, Biden’s win was verified three times: with an initial count, a second conducted by hand and then a recount. The state also conducted an audit of voting machines to ensure the votes recorded electronically matched paper records submitted by voters. A limited review of voter signatures found no evidence of widespread illegal voting.

Numerous unsubstantiated claims of fraud, errors in technology and anomalies in the results have been investigated and found to be false.

Ultimately, Republican and Democratic governors signed off on the results, including Trump allies Gov. Brian Kemp of Georgia and Gov. Doug Ducey of Arizona, who both certified that Biden won their states.

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This is part of The Associated Press’ ongoing effort to fact-check misinformation that is shared widely online, including work with Facebook to identify and reduce the circulation of false stories on the platform.

Here’s more information on Facebook’s fact-checking program: https://www.facebook.com/help/1952307158131536