Beware of this misinformation from 'Stop the Steal' rallies this weekend.

November 13, 2020 

Dozens of rallies are being organized across the country on Saturday as part of a movement called "Stop the Steal," which falsely asserts that the presidential election was manipulated against President Trump.

Here are some of the unsubstantiated and inaccurate claims that you might encounter, and why they are wrong.

Claim: Widespread voter fraud undermined the election and swung the vote against President Trump.

Fact: Neither election officials nor journalists have found any evidence to support that claim.

Background: This is the broadest claim being made by the Stop the Steal group. But reporters from The New York Times called voting officials representing both political parties in every state and found no evidence that fraud or other irregularities played a role in the outcome of the presidential race.

Many of the claims suggest that the alleged fraud involved mail-in ballots. Election experts have repeatedly asserted that mail-in ballots are safe. They calculated that in a 20-year period, fraud involving mailed ballots affected 0.00006 percent of votes, or one case per state every six or seven years.


A worker processing mail-in ballots in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., on Nov. 6.Credit...Mary Altaffer/Associated Press

Claim: Tens of thousands of ballots were cast in the names of dead people in Pennsylvania and Michigan.

Fact: There is no evidence that dead people voted.

Background: The claim that dead people voted has been promoted by people close to Mr. Trump, including Rudy Giuliani, one of his personal lawyers.

In many cases, the claims have been bolstered by people conflating voting rolls, which list people who can potentially vote, with actual voting records. Those mistakes were often fixed before or during Election Day, and people who have passed away were removed from the voting roles. Lists that have circulated on social media sites sharing the names of dead people who supposedly voted have also largely been debunked by The Times and others.


Rudy Giuliani in Philadelphia last week. He and others have falsely claimed that dead people voted in this year's election.Credit...Chris Mcgrath/Getty Images

Claim: Voters cast unauthorized votes under maiden names.

Fact: There is no evidence that any votes were cast by impersonators using maiden names.

Background: This rumor was started when a woman tweeted that her mother's maiden name had been stolen by someone who used it to vote. The tweet did not provide any evidence of the claim.

Election officials said there was no proof that individuals committed voter fraud by registering to vote, and then casting a vote using a maiden name. They added that they had received no individual complaints about specific cases.

Claim: A postal worker in Pennsylvania said he had seen his supervisor "tampering with mail-in ballots."

Fact: The postal worker retracted his claims, and no evidence was found to support what he had said.

Background: The claims originated in a video released by Project Veritas, a conservative group that has repeatedly spread disinformation. The video featured a postal worker, Richard Hopkins, who said he had overheard a discussion about backdating ballots that arrived in the mail after Election Day.

The video did not provide evidence of any voter fraud, and Mr. Hopkins did not say that he had seen any fraud occur. Mr. Hopkins later recanted his allegations, according to a report by the inspector general's office to Congress.


Elections workers in Luzerne County in Pennsylvania last week. Credit...Mary Altaffer/Associated Press

Claim: A "software glitch" created by Dominion Voting Systems, a company that makes software used during the elections, changed vote tallies in Michigan and Georgia.

Fact: Election officials have found that software problems did not affect final vote counts.

Background: Two of the five counties that experienced software problems in Michigan and Georgia used Dominion voting systems and in both of those cases, the issues did not affect vote counts, according to election officials. The problems with Dominion's systems were attributed to human error, such as incorrectly entering old files into the systems, and they were fixed before final vote counts were released.

Claims that Dominion is owned or controlled by high-profile Democrats, including the Clinton family and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, have also been debunked. Dominion, originally a Canadian company that is now based in Denver, is largely owned by the New York-based private equity firm Staple Street Capital and Dominion's chief executive, John Poulos.


A demonstration of the Dominion Voting system in Atlanta last year.Credit...John Bazemore/Associated Press

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