Fact check: CPAC speakers make false claims about the election, the Capitol


Friday featured false claims about the election, the Capitol attack, and even The Muppets, while on Saturday, there were several incorrect claims on immigration, energy and voting laws — some of which echoed claims President Donald Trump had repeated throughout his administration.

Here is a fact check of some of the statements CPAC speakers made on Friday and Saturday:

Early in the Friday proceedings, CPAC played a video segment that strongly suggested there was mass fraud or widespread malfeasance in the 2020 election.

The segment was titled “YOUR VOTES CANCELED.” Among other things, it suggested there was something nefarious about the fact that Joe Biden gained ground late on election night in vote-counting in swing states — showing one commentator saying this was “statistically impossible,” another saying it was “very strange,” and another, the late radio host Rush Limbaugh, saying the “vote fairy” had visited overnight.

How a post-election crisis was manufactured in Pennsylvania
Facts First: This is nonsense, as CNN and many others have repeatedly explained since November. Biden gained ground in the vote count in some states as legitimate votes were legitimately counted.
Biden simply did far better than Trump with people who voted using mail-in ballots, which some states counted later than they counted in-person ballots. (In Pennsylvania, for example, this happened in part because Republican state legislators refused to allow the processing of mail-in votes to begin before Election Day as Democrats proposed.) Biden also did far better than Trump in most big cities, which had more ballots to count than smaller communities.
Biden did not gain ground late at night in every competitive state. In Florida, where counties were allowed to start counting mail-in ballots prior to Election Day, Biden jumped out to what ended up being a mirage of a big lead, but Trump overtook him after in-person votes were counted. In Arizona, Trump gained ground as the counting proceeded past Election Day, though he still ended up losing.

The legitimacy of the election

TW Shannon, a former Republican state legislator in Oklahoma, said that mobs occur “when people have a sense of hopelessness.” After claiming that Democratic mayors had failed to offer hope to the people who ended up burning cities in the summer of 2020, Shannon then said, “The reason that people stormed the Capitol was because they felt hopeless because of a rigged election.”

Facts First: The election was not rigged. Joe Biden was the legitimate winner. There is no evidence of widespread fraud or malfeasance.

Shannon would have been correct if he had said that many of the people who stormed the Capitol believed the election had been rigged. But that’s not what he said.

Fraud and drop boxes

Conservative commentator Deroy Murdock said: “Democrats, not Republicans, installed ballot drop boxes on sidewalks, where nobody oversaw them. How many fraudulent ballots got deposited in these boxes unchecked and then got counted? Who knows.”

Facts First: Murdock’s suggestion that ballot drop boxes were insecure is false; there is no sign that these drop boxes were used fraudulently in the 2020 election. The boxes were secured in various ways: affixed to the…



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