Electoral workers processing ballots at Northampton County Courthouse on November 3, 2020 in Easton, Pennsylvania (AFP / Kena Betancur)

Trump spreads false claim of of switched, deleted votes

Copyright AFP 2017-2020. All rights reserved.

US President Donald Trump tweeted a claim that large numbers of votes were either deleted or switched from him to Democrat Joe Biden, including in the battleground state of Pennsylvania. This is false; US election officials said there is no evidence to back the claim, while Pennsylvania’s Department of State said it has “no factual basis.”

“‘REPORT: DOMINION DELETED 2.7 MILLION TRUMP VOTES NATIONWIDE. DATA ANALYSIS FINDS 221,000 PENNSYLVANIA VOTES SWITCHED FROM PRESIDENT TRUMP TO BIDEN. 941,000 TRUMP VOTES DELETED. STATES USING DOMINION VOTING SYSTEMS SWITCHED 435,000 VOTES FROM TRUMP TO BIDEN.’ @ChanelRion @OANN,” Trump tweeted on November 12, 2020.

A screenshot of a tweet taken on November 12, 2020

Trump attributed the claim to the right-wing One America News Network.

Trump has insisted that he is the winner of the 2020 presidential vote -- which major media organizations called for Biden on November 7 -- and has refused to concede, while making unfounded allegations of election fraud.

Biden’s success in Pennsylvania was key, pushing him over the 270 total electoral votes he needed to secure the presidency.

Federal and state election officials issued a statement rejecting the assertions in Trump’s tweet. 

“There is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised,” the members of the Election Infrastructure Government Coordinating Council Executive Committee and the Election Infrastructure Sector Coordinating Council said. 

And a spokesperson for Pennsylvania’s Department of State rejected the claim that 221,000 votes were switched.

“There is no factual basis for this claim. Allegations of fraud and illegal activity have been repeatedly debunked and dismissed by the courts. Those attacks against the core values of Americans are intended to undermine our democracy, and we must reject them,” the spokesperson said. 

“Pennsylvania is going to fight every single attempt to disenfranchise voters. We will protect this election and the democratic process. Pennsylvania will count every vote, and we will protect the count of every vote.”

Election technology company Dominion Voting Systems -- which was blamed in Trump’s tweet -- also pushed back against the allegations.

“Dominion categorically denies any claims about any vote switching or alleged software issues with our voting systems,” it tweeted.

AFP Fact Check has debunked a series of false claims of fraud in the 2020 election, which are available in English here.

This fact check is available at IFCN’s 2020 US Elections FactChat #Chatbot on WhatsApp. Click here for more.

EDIT: This article was updated on November 13, 2020 to add a statement from election officials.
US Elections 2020