Nonprofit, independent journalism. Supported by readers.


Elections expert expresses concern over continuing questioning of the 2020 presidential results

The thing that most worries David Becker is the threat that “never-ending demands for recounts pose to the idea of election credibility.”

Voters standing behind a curtain at Florence Town Hall on Election Day in Frontenac, Minnesota.
Voters standing behind a curtain at Florence Town Hall on Election Day in Frontenac, Minnesota.
REUTERS/Eric Miller

I listened via Zoom Thursday to a press availability starring David Becker, an attorney and the executive director and founder of the Center for Election Innovation & Research, who confirmed yet again what all reality-based Americans have long-since concluded: that by all reasonable standards the 2020 presidential election was free and fair and conducted and counted honestly; and that Joe Biden not only won by substantial margins in both the popular and electoral vote, but won by results that would be called “landslides compared to margins that have received this kind of recount in the past.”

The states in question “have already finished counting and in many cases recounting, but the other side wants to re-recount,” he said.

In Arizona, Becker noted, state legislators who want to test the ballot for traces of bamboo that, to the challengers, would suggest Chinese cheating, are attempting to call into question an election in which they themselves won a new term.

Of the Arizona recount which is being “audited,” Becker also said: “We already know that the audit is rigged.” The press is banned from observing what he termed the “secret recount,” the chain of custody of the ballots is “highly questionable” and the ballots have been handed over to a “biased firm” to recount. The only potential outcome is to “harden the opinions of supporters of the losing candidate,” namely former president Donald Trump.

Article continues after advertisement

The ongoing search for nonexistent fraud is supported by Maricopa County, Arizona, Republican legislators and other elected officials who were elected or reelected themselves and therefore, are questioning the legitimacy of their own victories, Becker said.

(He also, in another remark, went out of his way to salute those candidates who lost in November but have nonetheless gone out of their way to declare their confidence that the election had been free and fair.)

Georgia, another state that Trump and his supporters contend was stolen from them, did “more than the law requires” to ensure transparency, accuracy and fairness.

“For the first time in many cycles,” he said, Georgia had an auditable paper ballot program. And they used it. “They did more than the law requires,” Becker said. “They counted the ballots three times, including by hand, and came to the same conclusion each time — that Joe Biden won.”

But the thing that most worries Becker, he said, is the threat that “never-ending demands for recounts pose to the idea of election credibility,” and the worry (he called it his “great concern”) that this will in the big picture and long run “aid Russian and Chinese propaganda that seeks to undermine democracy.”

I don’t guess Becker will have much success persuading hard-core Trumpers with any of his facts or arguments, but he gamely tried suggesting that facing the truth about a defeat “benefits the losing side.”

How’s that? “A side that lost an election and then lies about whether they lost, will undermine the opportunity to figure out why they lost and what they can do about it heading into next cycle.”