The 2020 Election And “The Fruit Of The Poisonous Tree”

The Fruit of the Poisonous Tree is a century-old legal doctrine that extends the exclusionary rule to make evidence inadmissible in court if it was discovered as a result of illegally obtained information or evidence. If the evidence”tree” is “poisoned,” so is its “fruit.” The doctrine was established in the 1920 case of Silverthorne Lumber Co. v. United States; Justice Felix Frankfurter gets credit for the metaphor from his 1939 opinion in Nardone v. United States.

There are three exceptions to the rule. The evidence will not be excluded if it was discovered from a source unrelated to the illegal activity, if its discovery was inevitable, or if the connection between the illegal activity and the discovery of the evidence is weak. The most famous example of the doctrine in action is probably “Dirty Harry,” where a mad serial killer is set free because detective Harry Callahan locates where the maniac had buried a girl alive by torturing him until he revealed the information..

The “fruit of the poisonous tree” analogy has turned up in the Ethics Alarms comments and elsewhere on the web regarding a possible application to voter fraud in the 2020 election. The theory: even if enough votes in a particular state can’t be conclusively shown to have been fraudulent to change that state’s winner in the Presidential election, substantial proof of cheating by the party prevailing in that states’ voting ought to invalidate the result, since the vote total itself was the result of cheating, and the entire election is “poisoned.”

There is a lot wrong with the theory and the analogy, both from a legal and an ethical perspective.

1. The doctrine itself, like the exclusionary rule, is still very controversial. It is pure utilitarianism; some would say (like Dirty Harry and the film’s conservative director Don Siegel) extreme and stupid utilitarianism. The rules exist to keep police in line when they are tempted to bend the law and violate the civil rights of suspects, but letting guilty and sometimes dangerous individuals escape accountability for their crimes is a high price for society to pay. Why not punish the law enforcement personnel directly with dismissal, fines or even imprisonment, rather than allow the criminals to benefit?

2. How much voter fraud would be enough to trigger the penalty? A thousand fraudulent votes? One? Or would clear evidence that a party engaged in an organized conspiracy to “rig” the election be enough, even if a) the number of votes affected couldn’t be proven, or b) even if the party’s candidate would have won anyway, or c) even if the evidence of fraud was strong but not 100% certain?

3. What would happen if the evidence of widespread voter fraud was obtained by illegal means, when, say, Dirty Harry tortured the state chair of the Democratic Party who finally said, “All right! Here’s the combination to my safe! The whole plan and all the contracts are right there!” Presumably the criminal Fruit of the Poisonous Tree doctrine would prevent the electoral Fruit of the Poisonous Tree doctrine from operating.

4. The better analogy would be how we treat cheating in other contexts. A company bidding on a contract that cheats to discover the other bids is disqualified even if it would have won the contract without cheating. A student who cheats on her exam flunks even if she would have passed had she not cheated.

5. In sports, however, the handling of cheating is inconsistent. College football and basketball teams can lose their titles if they cheat, even if the cheating didn’t demonstrably affect any games. But the Houston Astros cheated to win their 2017 World Championship in Major League Baseball, pretty much from the start of the season through to the World Series. The team was punished, but the results stand. Barry Bonds broke several long-standing records while benefiting from banned performance enhancing substances, yet his records are still in the books.

The voting fraud dilemma is ethically unsolvable after the fact. Taking away a Presidency as a punitive measure is not only impractical, it is dangerous, no matter how one tries to justify it. Unless it can be unequivocally demonstrated that fraudulently cast or counted votes caused the real winner of the election to lose, the result, no matter how egregious the cheating may have been, must stand. Punish the perpetrators, ban them from politics, fine them, lock them up; the one punishment that is out of reach is to forfeit the election.

It’s worse than that, too. This isn’t a sports championship or a college exam; it is national power. There is no legally acceptable punishment for cheating to gain the benefits of political power on the scale the Presidency wields that is a sufficient disincentive. If there is a way to cheat to win the Presidency, political parties will attempt it.

(As we have seen since 2016…)

The only remedy, and it is an incomplete one, is to thoroughly investigate whether and what cheating has occurred, gain public acceptance that it does occur, and take strong measures to make cheating more difficult the next time. Punish proven conspirators and perpetrators, but disqualifying an election winner whose victory was “fruit of the poisonous tree” is neither realistic nor wise.

45 thoughts on “The 2020 Election And “The Fruit Of The Poisonous Tree”

  1. Do you think the left is willing to launch a legitimate investigation of election fraud and actually prosecute it? I think the sun spontaneously going super nova is more likely.

    • The Left has, in the past 10-20 years:

      1) Asserted that the Senate should be disassembled for lack of democratic representation.
      2) Asserted that the Electoral College should be eliminated because it doesn’t allow tiny concentrations of interest groups known as coastal cities dominate the politics of a large and diverse Union.
      3) Insinuated that the Supreme Court *should be* partisan by trashing the mere concept that Justices should, you know, use the Constitution as a guide in ruling instead of using the Left Wing political platform as a guide.
      4) Decided the entire Constitutional Order is obsolete and just a protection of slavery
      5) Spent 4 years pursuing a half dozen routes of impeaching a lawfully elected president based on literally NOTHING.
      6) Finalized the bastard marriage of Media with the Democrat Party to engage in one of the greatest propaganda efforts in living memory to undermine faith in the American system and to divide the population against itself in increasingly violent ways
      7) Sought to undermine the 1st Amendment which acknowledges all citizen’s freedom of thought and expression
      8) Sought to eradicate the 2nd Amendment which acknowledges that final political security rests in an armed population.
      9) Openly encouraged and covered for riots, looting, and outright murder in the streets.
      10) Have, over generations infiltrated and imprisoned the higher education system converting colleges and universities into socialist “seminaries” churning out America-hating automatons by the thousands.
      11) Used the opportunity of a pandemic to engage in some of the most egregious petty-tyrant conduct in recent American history all while slandering a fairly centric president as being the Next Hitler and in some cases being *worse* that Hitler.
      12) Openly undermined local population’s trust in law and order and actively sought to eliminate local police forces, encouraging a descent into anarchy.

      This list can go on.

      Why on earth, should anyone even remotely think that the Democrats aren’t opposed to defrauding an election in a system that they HATE and have promised to fundamentally restructure? Why on earth would they play by rules they have openly said are stupid rules and are *evil* rules? Why on earth would they ever investigate such?

      It won’t matter anyway, when they manufacture the Georgia senate flip, they’ll have what they need and they won’t look back, and you won’t have a chance to make them look back.

  2. I think the other, more material difference between “election fraud” as we understand it and all the other examples you used is who is committing the fraud; If a student fails because they were caught cheating, even if they’d normally pass… That’s justice. If we called a state for Trump because someone who supported Biden stuffed 134 ballots into a box, that’s punishing Biden for his supporter’s actions.

    If and when we find fraud, we disqualify the votes and charge the faudster. I think it would be different if we found evidence of Biden’s team actively facilitating fraud. To be clear: I do not believe this is likely. But I’ve been surprised a lot over the last five years. If a campaign is actually found guilty of committing voter fraud… Then maybe a new election is warranted.

    • Just to be clear, you’re stating that it’s unlikely that such evidence will be found, not that the Biden campaign didn’t engage in it, right?

      • Both? Either? I really doubt that Biden or his campaign would 1) be stupid enough to do it and 2) feel as if they had to. The polarization of America means that particularly on political matters, people will feel strongly enough about the issues that they’ll take it upon themselves to act unethically, illegally or both.

        It’s been this way for years, Obama didn’t need to tell the IRS to clamp down on Conservative Organizations, Lois Lerner did that on her own. The defense of Biden in this situation is going to be almost identical to the defense of Trump following the 2016 election. At the time, Democrats were alluding to Henry II’s “Will no one rid me of this turbulent priest?” And we were making the defense that Trump hadn’t even asked for the things his people did, although he might have been dumb enough to appreciate them publicly.

  3. There was a recent ruling, I think Pennsylvania, and the judge said something to the effect of: “If certain circumstances made it more difficult or unequal for ballots, the remedy is to “level up” their status, not “level down” millions of others.” I thought it was a good analysis akin to “don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater.”

  4. The beauty of mail-in ballots, from the Democrats’ point of view, is that they make fraud very easy to commit and very hard to detect. Once the fraudulent ballots are separated from their envelopes and shuffled into the mix of genuine ballots, there is no way to tell which ones are fraudulent and which are not. That’s why the Democrats kicked out the Republican poll watchers in all of the key swing–state cities during the critical hours when the ballots were being opened. If mail-in ballots in Pennsylvania and Georgia had been rejected at the same rate this year as in 2016, instead of at the microscopically small rates that they actually were, Trump would have won all three states. And of course we all suspect that the rate of fraudulent mail-in ballots this year was significantly higher than in 2016, meaning that the rate of rejection should probably have been significantly higher as well.

    • It’s amazing to think of the scale of direct fraud that the democrats engaged in this year, juxtaposed with still-echoing screams of “collusion!”, which itself was a large-scale work of fiction, between Trump and Russia to release proof of The Clintons being the fraud-and-collusion-mired crime syndicate that they are. Kind of breath-taking, really.

      • Indeed.

        Michael Tracey explains it.

        http://mtracey.medium.com/i-wouldnt-gloat-if-i-were-you-49b2692feb59

        I know we’re all tired of the polling-industrial complex and rightly so, but let’s please remember that a December 2016 YouGov poll found half of all Clinton voters that year didn’t just believe that Russia “interfered” in the election to the advantage of Trump, but that they tampered with the ballot tallies and effectively hacked the voting machines. By 2018, a supermajority of Democratic voters expressed this belief. And the belief didn’t become widely-adopted as a result of standard looney-tunes off-the-reservation conspiracy-theorizing, which is typically understood to emanate from the fringes of society. Instead these crazy, evidence-free beliefs were deliberately engineered by the most Serious precincts of mainstream respectable opinion, particularly those allied with the Democratic Party and its think tank / media affiliates.
        The phrase “hacked the election” entered wide circulation by December 2016, with the New York Times among others spouting it without compunction. If you’re not a particularly sophisticated news consumer, and you have a pro-Democratic predisposition, what exactly do you think you’d have tended to infer from the phrase “hacked the election”? Trump winning the election was unfathomable to many, and people were understandably searching for answers. They were provided with self-deluding fantasies by sources they’d come to regard as authoritative. The people who used the phrase over and over again, like chronic liar Adam Schiff, aren’t stupid. They knew it would engender doubt as to the legitimacy of the election; that was the entire purpose.

        And here is the money quote. (emphasis mine)

        So unless you’re one of the vanishingly few people in media who opposed the movement to de-legitimize the previous election, you’ve forfeited any standing to sneer at the current de-legitimization movement. The precedent’s already been created and you’re complicit. Enjoy.

    • A greater percentage of *in person* ballots have been disqualified than were mail in ballots. Typically elections have disqualified ballots because of questionable circumstances. Mail in ballots, by ANY reasonable definition, would HAVE TO HAVE more questionable circumstances. Yet hardly any were disqualified compared to in person ballots.

      Who did they ultimately help?

  5. Carter and Baker outlined processes to minimize voter fraud 15 years ago.
    What took place in this election is every practice they said was dangerous.

    Those practices were precisely what was being complained about before any vote was cast. But every complaint was dismissed as an attempt to suppress the minority vote.

    In another post prior to November 3, I stated that every state should certify the universe of votes cast before any vote is canvassed or counted. I said every precinct or ward must certify all their votes are in and no other votes will be allowed.
    Every person should be required to re-register to vote every 3 years. If you have to renew a license you can re-register to vote.
    Eliminate same day registering to vote and close the registration process early enough prior to election day to prevent people from temporarily moving in to affect elections.
    Make people who wish to vote prove who they are. If we need to prove who we are to buy a rifle or enter an arena where politicians are speaking by damn we can demand that only people with a government issued photo ID can vote. Nothing says voting is an unfettered right. Voting is regulated just like firearms.
    Finally, all vote totals must be published at the same time for each state. We can no longer allow some districts to deliver results after learning what direction the vote is going in their state.

    None of this costs one thin taxpayer dime and eliminates many potential avenues to game the system.

  6. Jack said:

    The voting fraud dilemma is ethically unsolvable after the fact.

    This, right here, is the crux of the biscuit. It is the apostrophe. It is the reality that we all have to face.

    We cannot undo what has been done. That’s why Bush V. Gore had to happen before the various recount efforts “found” enough votes to elect Gore. That is why it is far too late to undo this election absent a vast, utterly convincing showing of fraud on a scale more than large enough to undo the result. Even then, I have my doubts that a court will void votes without knowing precisely how many and, frankly, precisely which ones are fraudulent.

    Fairness cannot be had at the cost of throwing potentially valid votes out with the frauds. No judge I have ever heard of would go there, let alone nine of them.

    Punish the perpetrators, ban them from politics, fine them, lock them up; the one punishment that is out of reach is to forfeit the election.

    Indeed. The only chance of changing the outcome at this point is to suddenly discover a huge discrepancy between the number of actual paper ballots cast and the totals reported. Once the votes are counted, fraudulent or not, they cannot realistically be un-counted. The genie is out of the bottle. Pandora’s box is already open. The bell cannot be un-rung. The toothpaste is out of the tube. The swinging barn door and absence of livestock are a clue too late. I’m finally out of hackneyed and tortured metaphors…

    The only remedy, and it is an incomplete one, is to thoroughly investigate whether and what cheating has occurred, gain public acceptance that it does occur, and take strong measures to make cheating more difficult the next time. Punish proven conspirators and perpetrators, but disqualifying an election winner whose victory was “fruit of the poisonous tree” is neither realistic nor wise.

    Exactly. “Fruit of the poisonous tree” may or may not be a good reason to disqualify evidence, but it is an unacceptable standard to apply to an election, because an election is not a criminal trial, and disenfranchising millions of people is a remedy that will never be accepted by the courts, nor should it be.

    Absent a virtually irrefutable showing in great detail of a vast criminal conspiracy that would make Watergate hide it’s face in shame, this election is over. Hell, it’s most likely over whether or not such a conspiracy could be irrefutably proven.

  7. Here’s a question for Jack. Let’s suppose the following facts were proven. In your opinion, would they justify a court overturning the election results? To be clear, I’ve seen these facts asserted by various bloggers but haven’t seen any actual statistics to back them up.

    1. Early in the morning after the election, several big Democrat-controlled cities in swing states simultaneously announced that they were pausing the counting of ballots, kicked out the Republican pollwatchers and then resumed counting again without being watched.

    2. During the counting in the absence of Republican pollwatchers, mail-in ballots were separated from their envelopes, making detection of fraud in individual ballots impossible.

    3. The rate of mail-in ballots rejected without Republican pollwatchers was microscopic — much lower than historical rates in those cities and much lower than 2020 rates in comparable cities in other states.

    4. The mail-in turnout rate in those cities far exceeded the rate in comparable cities in other states.

    5. The mail-in vote in those cities broke in favor of Biden much more heavily than in comparable cities in other states.

    6. If you adjust rejection rates, turnout rates and pro-Biden bias in those swing-state cities to look more like comparable cities in other states, the outcome in those swing state would be transformed from a narrow Biden victory to a comfortable Trump victory.

    The theory, to be clear, is that (A) the simultaneous ejection of Republican pollwatchers is evidence of high-level coordination, (B) it is impossible now to detect individual fraudulent ballots and count them, but (C) rudimentary statistical techniques very strongly suggest that the number of fraudulent mail-in ballots was so large that they changed the election result. Would any court, if all of these things were shown, be willing to undo the fraud?

    (And again, I’ve seen these facts asserted but not proved. I’m asking what would happen if they were somehow proved.)

  8. “There is no legally acceptable punishment for cheating to gain the benefits of political power on the scale the Presidency wields that is a sufficient disincentive.”

    So, “cheating to gain the benefits of political power on the scale the Presidency wields” just is not a crime? Capital punishment is no longer “legally acceptable?” Or is it just not “a sufficient disincentive” to discourage such a treasonous act?

    • I am not sure it is an either-or proposition. Both can be true. The problem is that there is really not a good remedy to prevent future fraud. Yes, you can prosecute those guilty of voter fraud but those are very long cases and largely forgotten.

      The better practice is to put in place the procedures to limit the impact of fraudulent voting. Chris stated clear mechanisms above that would ensure the integrity of the voter rolls, but neither party has the intellectual or political fortitude to do it.

      Just as Georgia got going on the run-offs last week, I checked what is required to register to vote in that state. Not much. There is a residency requirement but that seems fairly fungible. The form does not require any sort of government-issued identification, just a certification that the registrant intends to be a Georgia resident and be at least 18 years old at the time of the election. Talk about an open invitation for fraud. I mean, you could drive a tandem trailer pulled by a Mack truck through that loophole, probably one of those bringing all of the ballot boxes in at 2:30 in the morning.

      CNN, activists, actors, and the current governor of Georgia (that is Stacey Abrams, not the other bozo) are openly encouraging “voter registration” so as not to allow Republicans to dilute or purge the voter rolls. Good lord! Why should there be a new deadline to vote in the run-off? It would seem to me that the rolls should be certified by no later than 30 days from the date of the official election, and no late entries permitted and certainly not election day registration. If you are too lazy to register before the election, then maybe you should be required to sit the current one out, including any run off races. And, then there is the consent decree entered into by the Brian Kemp and Abrams – why would he agree to that?! Why didn’t he tell her to go pound salt?! – presented a real problem for authenticating signatures on mail-in ballots.

      jvb

      PS: Stacey still thinks she si the governor. Check out her website: https://staceyabrams.com/

      First Line? “Stacey Abrams, Governor.” Oh no.

      Her wikipedia page says, “After Joe Biden won the 2020 US Presidential election, both The New York Times and The Washington Post credited Abrams with a large boost in Democratic votes in Georgia and an estimated 800,000 new voter registrations.”

  9. Re the exclusionary rule: “Why not punish the law enforcement personnel directly with dismissal, fines or even imprisonment, rather than allow the criminals to benefit?”

    As I am sure you know, many countries around the world do exactly this, including the UK last time I checked.

    • Maybe a good idea, but first this: a large number of exclusions revolve around a LE officer’s action that occurred unscripted and often unanticipated as a situation developed in real time. And the resulting decision to exclude, and render the officer’s judgement extra-legal, came after countless of judicial consideration of existing case law amplified by briefs, points of authority and oral argument, and often on split decisions of appellate panels. You would be punishing the officer for a decision that was not a clear violation of anything.

      • Then you don’t punish the officer until the matter is settled one way or the other. A good-faith mistake should not receive draconian punishment. In most cases that I worked as an investigator, admissibility issues weren’t all that complicated. Your mileage may vary. As I said, the Brits do it.

  10. Jack wrote, “The voting fraud dilemma is ethically unsolvable after the fact. Taking away a Presidency as a punitive measure is not only impractical, it is dangerous, no matter how one tries to justify it. Unless it can be unequivocally demonstrated that fraudulently cast or counted votes caused the real winner of the election to lose, the result, no matter how egregious the cheating may have been, must stand.”

    Herein lies the catch-22.

    If it is very clear that there were/are obvious efforts to infect the ballot counts (last minute changes to include mail in voting, 11th hour changes that violate state election laws, voting machines that are corruptible and therefore corrupted, etc.) with fraudulent votes then this openly enables voter fraud to take place and the ends justifies the means literally wins.

    If there are no consequences for the candidate elected by fraudulent means then the ends do justify the means. If there are no real consequences to being fraudulently elected then the ones who are most effective at cheating win and our Constitutional Republic is doomed.

    After this election, elections will never again be considered legitimate until we go back to all in-person voting that verifies the person voting is the person they claim to be and that they can legally vote, severe limitations on absentee voting that verifies the person voting is the person they claim to be and that they can legally vote, only use paper ballots and all ballots must be 100% hand counted.

    It seems like everything is being bastardized, our Constitution, our laws, our justice system, our election system, our ethnics, our morals, etc and there isn’t a damn thing that can be done to stop it. Chaos and irrational thinking is abounding; civility, common sense and critical thinking is quaint.

    This ledge is getting all too familiar.

    The following is to the tune Sounds of Silence by Simon and Garfunkel

    Sounds of Chaos

    [Verse 1]
    Hello ledge you are my friend
    I’ve come to walk on you again
    Because a vision softly creeping
    Left its seeds while I was sleeping
    And the vision that was planted in my brain
    Still remains
    Within the sounds of chaos.

    [Verse 2]
    In restless dreams I walked alone
    The public streets protesters roam
    ‘Neath the halo of a Lincoln bust
    I turned my back to the approaching mob
    When my eyes were stabbed by
    The flash of a molotov cocktail
    That split the night
    And made the sounds of chaos

    [Verse 3]
    And in the naked light I saw
    Ten thousand people, maybe more
    People yelling into loud bullhorns
    People screaming out their hate and scorn
    Other people preaching calm that the mob all just ignored
    And no one dared
    Disturb the sounds of chaos

    [Verse 4]
    “Fools”, said I, “You do not know
    Chaos like a cancer grows
    Hear my words that I might teach you
    Take my arms that I might reach you”
    But my words, like silent raindrops, fell
    And echoed in the wells of chaos

    [Verse 5]
    And the people bowed and prayed
    To the chaotic god they made
    And the mob screamed out its demands
    In the words that it was forming
    And the mob said:
    “The words of the justly are
    Graffitti on the protesters walls
    And city halls
    And whispered in the sound of chaos.”

    • Then we no longer have free elections, for your vote no longer counts. I wonder if the roots of the tree of liberty are getting thirsty.

      • This.

        If government exists at the consent of the governed and the governed has come to the realization that this founding clause has been made null… I sure hope Biden is mobilizing “… the most extensive and inclusive voter fraud [investigation?] organization in the history of American politics” to ensure his election is legitimate… Because the tree of Liberty is the lone tree on that hill if the poisonous tree can’t be applied.

        The soap box is loose and wobbly. The ballot box is bursting at the seams. The jury box is filled with biased jurors and what’s left of the defendant’s council is composed only of those that can face the mob after the trial. It’s no wonder that orders for the fourth box have already outstripped a year’s supply.

      • All but inevitable. I feel the momentum in my inner ears. Sophisticated people with an evil agenda, armed with ages-old knowledge of how to get dim-witted people ready to murder, backing the sane and perceptive up against wall after wall, and pushing for that multi-faceted collapse, so that everyone will whimper “feed me! Protect me!”

    • On the other hand, at least one of the obituaries is dated after the election, and many of them are only checked on the year rather than the full date. So now I’m second guessing the list more than I already was, but 40 thousand out of about 1 million over 80 in PA still seems like an awful lot of name matches.

    • No, it shouldn’t be shared around more because it is completing misleading. It’s not “deceased voters”, it’s dead people that showed up on some registered voters list – and last I checked being registered to vote is not the same as voting. Stuff like this is being compiled and shared with everyone in the MAGA world and they all seem to be believing it. I haven’t found one of these mass voter fraud claims yet that couldn’t be debunked or found to be completely lacking in supporting evidence in less than a minute of follow-up.

      • Oscar
        The claim is that these deceased persons did cast a ballot in the 2020 election. There is nothing misleading in the claim.

        I have no idea as to the veracity but you stated they just showed up on lists of registered voters. What source are you using to rebut the allegation? I recognize you cannot prove a negative but what evidence suggests that the person who did vote is not the same person with identical birthrates and death dates?

        For me the evidence presented by the link creates sufficient probable cause to investigate further. It is now incumbent on its critics to argue why it should be ignored.

        • Such allegations should be ignored because there’s nothing suspicious about dead people remaining on voter registration lists. You’ve probably never lost a relative and immediately called to cancel their voting registration. Are there people who take advantage of such loopholes, and vote in a dead person’s name? Sure. Is there any evidence that in this last election, this happened a) more frequently than usual b) at a rate that overturns the election c) consistently Democratic? Not so far. So muttering darkly about dead names on voter registration lists is basically like saying there’s been a rash of arson, because look at all the matches lying around.

          • Gully the claim is that they did vote. Everyone knows that people can remain on the rolls post mortem.

            Attempts to purge those names often are challenged in courts claiming disfranchisement.

            Argue the claim about them voting is false with evidence to counter what is presented but don’t simply state the claim is false because the dead remain on the rolls.

            • Nothing reliable is presented about them actually voting, certainly not at any rate that would have an effect on the election. Thus there is no ethical obligation to disprove a claim that has no strong evidence behind it.
              Again and again Trump’s legal team makes bold statements to the press and then offers little or nothing substantial in court. This may be for some strategic reason, but meanwhile the charges look like grandstanding.

      • No, it’s a list of people who voted. You can find a name and date and check their ballot (although I only checked a couple, they do provide a link to PA’s site) and indeed it says a ballot was received.

        If it weren’t for the quantity I could buy it, but maybe I don’t realize how frequent same name, state, and birth year really is.

    • I’ve looked at a lot of the items on hereistheevidence.com. Most of them are nonsense. Some are plausible and damning or suggestive, but anecdotal — cumulatively, they fall far short of adding to enough votes to change the result. It is impossible to identify tens of thousands of individual fraudulent votes to overturn the election, whether they exist or not. Any proof would have to be statistical, which is why I asked Jack whether a purely (or at least primarily) statistical proof would be sufficient for a court.

      And to be clear, so far I haven’t seen any remotely plausible statistical analysis that indicates a mass fraud, although I keep hearing that such statistical proofs will be coming.

      • Sudden shifts in the ratio of Biden to Trump voters in mail in ballots don’t strike you as an odd statistic? Human Errors which all shift votes from biden back to trump when they are found?

        To be fair, statistics CAN’T prove fraud for the most part. They can give you reason to look for things, but the left is hell bent on prevent the search itself.

  11. It seems to me the key issue at play is not so much what will happen if these are proven as what will happen if they continue to be shown to be unlikely. As with the President, the likelihood of concession seems about zero.

  12. Too bad there’s no equivalent of “comment of the week” for posts.

    If there was, this one would get my vote. Thoughtful, well reasoned. The kind of post that keeps me here… though perhaps sometimes Jack would see that as a distinctly mixed blessing…

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