More than three months have passed since the 2020 presidential election, and many conservatives are still claiming that the results were the results of massive fraud. After a scathing public rebuke from the Georgia Secretary of State's office, the Trump campaign dropped all of their lawsuits challenging the election results in that state, and the claims that Dominion and Smartmatic somehow rigged the election in Biden's favor have been soundly refuted. (For example, we now know that Smarmatic machines were not used anywhere in the nation except in Los Angeles County.) But many conservatives are still clinging to the false claim that there are thousands of affidavits which prove that massive election fraud occurred during the 2020 election.
I have read many of the affidavits that were filed following the 2020 election, and I have come to the conclusion that these affidavits do NOT prove that fraud occurred. This is not just a hasty dismissal. I actually have personal experience with the type of situations described in almost all of these affidavits.
In 2017, I served as a poll watcher for Roy Moore's senate campaign in Alabama. I needed a little extra cash to get a particular Christmas present for my wife, and the election was held on my day off, so I signed up. Here's what I posted to Facebook after that long and frustrating day:
"I am worn out from an exhausting day as a poll watcher in a heavily Democratic precinct where the chief inspector twice yelled at me from across the room and even called in a couple of sheriff's deputies to tell me that I couldn't look at the election documentation. However, I can now pay for the Christmas present that I've been waiting all year to give to my beautiful wife! The look on her face will definitely be worth it!"
I was stationed at a heavily Democratic precinct, and the poll workers made it abundantly clear that they did not appreciate me being there. I was forced to spend the entire day siting in a chair about 10 feet behind the sign in table. When I asked the chief inspector about this, she said that she was following the instructions of the local probate judge. She then called two deputies to come to the precinct and threaten me with arrest if I did not comply with the inspector's demands.
After the election, the Moore campaign asked me to submit an affidavit explaining what had happened. They said that similar shenanigans had taken place across the state and that they were considering filing a lawsuit to challenge the election results. The campaign eventually decided not to sue, but I submitted my affidavit as requested, and I've attached that affidavit at the end of this article.
Now, if you've read any of the affidavits that Trump is offering as proof of election fraud, you will already have recognized that describe situations similar to what I experienced in 2017. Poll watchers for the Trump campaign were forced to comply with ridiculous "rules" that prevented them from conducting any meaningful observations of the election process. In many cases, that forced compliance was illegal just as it was in my case. [In Alabama, "an official who refuses to allow any poll watcher to exercise his or her rights as a watcher, shall be guilty, upon conviction, of a Class C misdemeanor." (Section 17-17-22 Code of Alabama)] But that fact alone does not prove that election fraud took place.
I my affidavit, I testified that I had observed a blatant violation of my state's election laws. The chief inspector of the precinct refused to allow me to exercise my rights as a poll watcher. She should have been charged, convicted, and punished for that offense, but the fact that the chief inspector broke the law does not necessarily mean that she was involved in a conspiracy to steal the election. I did not observe any fraudulent activity at the precinct. The chief inspector successfully prevented me from observing any potential wrong doing. Therefore, while my affidavit IS evidence of illegal activity on the part of the chief inspector, it IS NOT evidence of voter fraud, and the same can be said for all of the affidavits that I have read from this past election. This is why the Trump campaign has repeatedly denied having actual evidence of voter fraud every time that the question of fraud has come up in their lawsuits, and this is why conservatives should stop claiming that the thousands of affidavits prove that the election was stolen.
Here is the affidavit that I submitted in 2017:
Bill Fortenberry is a Christian philosopher and historian in Birmingham, AL. Bill's work has been cited in several legal journals, and he has appeared as a guest on shows including The Dr. Gina Show, The Michael Hart Show, and Real Science Radio.
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