In a Feb. 20 town hall in South Carolina that aired on Fox News, days before the state’s Republican primary, former President Donald Trump repeated several false and misleading claims we’ve fact-checked before.
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In his latest election fraud spin, former President Donald Trump falsely suggested that 3,600 criminally duplicated ballots were counted in Atlanta’s Fulton County in the 2020 presidential election. He is referring to news reported months ago about errors made during an audit — not during the official ballot count.
Explore 10 deceptive claims made during the Trump era and the fallacies associated with each, shedding light on the importance of critical thinking and fact-checking in political discourse.
Democrats tend to win in densely populated counties, while Republicans win more sparse, rural counties. In 2020, the counties won by President Joe Biden had 67 million more residents than counties won by former President Donald Trump. Yet a social media post falsely asserts that because Biden won with fewer counties than Trump, “something isn’t adding up.”
In addition to former President Donald Trump, the indictment handed up by a state grand jury in Georgia names 18 defendants. Here we identify them and what they are alleged to have done.
Nearly 3.3 million votes were cast in the 2020 presidential election in Wisconsin, which the state calculated as a record turnout of 73%. A social media post tries to cast doubt on the results by citing incomplete data and claiming it shows “a registered voter turnout of 94%.”
Former President Donald Trump’s town hall event felt like a lightning round of false and misleading claims — most of which we’ve heard before — on voter fraud, immigration, classified documents and more.
A judge on Dec. 24 dismissed Kari Lake’s claim that there was no chain of custody for 300,000 mail-in ballots in Maricopa County, Arizona, during the 2022 election, yet posts on social media continue to spread the baseless claim. Every mail-in ballot in the county had a unique barcode and chain of custody documents to ensure security, election officials said.
Social media posts falsely suggest there was fraud in the Pennsylvania gubernatorial race, citing a TV graphic that showed Republican State Sen. Doug Mastriano with nearly 500,000 more votes than Democratic Attorney General Josh Shapiro, but Mastriano trailing 41.6% to 56.6%. The graphic showed inaccurate numbers that were quickly corrected on air.
Former President Donald Trump claimed he “sent in the FBI and the U.S. Attorneys” to Broward County during the 2018 election to stop “ballot theft” and help Ron DeSantis become Florida’s governor. But a spokesman for the county elections office said there was no “federal law enforcement presence” for that election.
Tabulating machines at some polling locations in Maricopa County, Arizona, couldn’t process ballots during part of Election Day, though affected voters could leave their ballots in a secure box or go elsewhere to vote. But some conservatives, including former President Donald Trump, made the unfounded claim that the setback indicated an attempt to “steal” the election.
Mail-in ballots have become a popular way to vote in the U.S. But the unfounded claim persists that mail ballots lead to rampant fraud and, if counted after Election Day, they are suspect. By law, many states don’t start counting mail ballots until after polls close, and some continue to accept them for days after Election Day if they are postmarked by that date.
U.S. Senate candidate Don Buldoc, a Republican, resurrected a zombie claim that has been repeatedly debunked about busloads of people coming from out of state to vote illegally in New Hampshire.
The arrest of a CEO whose company maintained poll worker data for Los Angeles County has sparked a wave of false voter fraud claims. County District Attorney George Gascón has said that the “alleged conduct had no impact on the tabulation of votes and did not alter election results.”
As the Department of Justice investigates his handling of highly classified documents, former President Donald Trump spoke for nearly two hours in a rally in Pennsylvania that was filled with false, exaggerated and misleading statements.
At the second hearing of the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol, former President Donald Trump’s top aides testified that they told him his claims of election fraud were baseless. What Trump characterized as “fraud” was just part of the “normal process,” as former Attorney General William Barr said in one instance.
A conservative film now playing in select theaters around the country isn’t “determinative, definitive” proof of widespread voter fraud, as former President Donald Trump has claimed.
An illegal ballot cast on behalf of a deceased voter is rare, and we could find no examples of it occurring in Michigan in 2020 or 2016. Yet, a Republican gubernatorial candidate in Michigan falsely claims in a TV ad that “dead people always vote Democrat,” and misleadingly suggests it is a widespread problem in his state.
The Georgia secretary of state’s office is investigating a conservative watchdog group’s claims of illegal “ballot harvesting” in the state during the November 2020 general election and a special election runoff in January 2021. But the pending investigation is not evidence that “widespread illegal ballot harvesting” elected Georgia’s two Democratic U.S. senators, as a conservative super PAC’s TV ad claims.
Videos on social media suggest that holes in the return envelopes being used for mail-in ballots in California were designed to allow election officials to peek inside and toss out ballots in favor of recalling Gov. Gavin Newsom. Officials say the holes serve two useful purposes, including helping the vision impaired to sign the ballot envelope in private.