An interview with someone who believes the 2020 election was stolen and illegitimate

Seventy-five percent of Republican voters say the 2020 election was “rigged,” per a recent poll, with “real cases of fraud that changed the results.” Are they right? From the title of Mollie Hemingway’s book, “Rigged,” you’d think it would be easier to figure out. The prologue is titled “You’re Not Wrong.” She quotes President Trump saying he was “cheated” and that “it hurts to lose less than to win and have it taken away.”

Yet she criticizes “hyping” of “dramatic claims” about Dominion voting machines, plus Rudy Giuliani’s “disastrous” legal turn. Other flapdoodle theories make no appearance. When Mrs. Hemingway says “rigged,” she means everything from jockeying to kick the Green Party off Wisconsin’s ballot, to Fox News’s early call of Arizona, to Twitter’s blackout of the Hunter Biden story in the New York Post.

Some of this has merit, but when Mr. Trump says “rigged” he means “massive election fraud.” Here the book is less helpful. There was much to object to in 2020, but she overstates the case. Yes, Democratic lawsuits pushed to loosen rules, sometimes successfully. Mail votes rose from 25% in 2016 to 43%. That’s a concerning trend, but even before the pandemic most states let anyone vote absentee at will, including Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan and Wisconsin. Covid was always going to create a deluge.

Mrs. Hemingway raises the question of Georgia voters who moved between counties. Temporary movers, such as students and military, are no problem. But permanent movers are supposed to re-register within 30 days. She cites an analyst who says he found more than 10,000 Georgians who changed addresses at least a month before the election, voted in their old counties, and only later re-registered. Fraud?

It’s tricky. People might temporarily move in with family amid Covid, only to stay. They might buy a house but spend weeks in transition. An address change isn’t legally enough to challenge a voter’s eligibility. WSB-TV spoke to a man who moved “a few blocks” over a county line. He “figured it was a statewide election,” so “it didn’t even occur to me that I could be doing anything wrong.” That’s a problem, not a “rigged” vote. Also, the state said 86% of these people voted in person. Mr. Trump won 55% of Georgia’s in-person ballots, so maybe the oversights helped him.

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Have psych podcast “People Who Read People.” My research into online deception featured in NYT, WaPo, more. Wrote books on poker tells (translated 8 languages).

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