President Donald Trump made the outlandish claim that Joe Biden can “only enter the White House as President” if he can prove “that his ridiculous 80,000,000 votes were not fraudulently or illegally obtained.”
Trump then alleged “massive voter fraud” in Detroit, Atlanta, Philadelphia, and Milwaukee, again promising to reveal evidence that, thus far at least, has not made his conspiracy theories any less ridiculous. Trump tweeted:
Biden can only enter the White House as President if he can prove that his ridiculous “80,000,000 votes” were not fraudulently or illegally obtained. When you see what happened in Detroit, Atlanta, Philadelphia & Milwaukee, massive voter fraud, he’s got a big unsolvable problem!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 27, 2020
There are a few things to note here.
First of all, this is not how general elections work. No candidate needs to prove the veracity of state by state election results. It is up to the Secretary of State to approve and certify the election results, which, by design, makes it far more challenging for systemic voter fraud to occur across the nation.
By claiming that Biden needs to prove that every one of his record-tallying votes is in fact true, Trump is either parading his ignorance of a system in place for centuries, or he is willfully misinforming his Twitter audience. Neither of these explanations is terribly charitable to the sitting president (he is either being stupid or lying in this tweet.)
The last bit to note here is the logical fallacy of trying to prove a negative. It is nearly impossible to find evidence of absence. This idea that somehow the onus of proof to show no election fraud has been mentioned on some of Trump’s favorite television programs, but again, it’s just not possible.
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