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Voter/Election Fraud

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  As this is being written it appears that Joe Biden has won the presidential election. Trump is claiming that Biden won through fraud, something that even Fox News has greeted with some skepticism. Trump even claimed, without evidence, that voter fraud occurred in the election he won in 2016. Some of his supporters are echoing his claims, taking to social media to present, without evidence, claims of voter fraud. A  video by Project Veritas has been widely distributed and purports to show such fraud. As this is being written, the Attorney General of Texas is investigating the matter—if fraud did occur, the perpetrator(s) should be punished. As would be expected, the unsupported claims about fraud have been repeatedly debunked. But Trump and his supporters persist in their claims. It is true that issues and problems arise in any election and that fraud does occur in some tiny fraction of a fraction of the votes. As such, arguments trying to prove that significant voter fraud exists tend to be fallacies or based on lies. One popular approach is the fallacy of anecdotal evidence—this involves emphasizing an example of real fraud and then taking the anecdote to counter the overwhelming statistical evidence that voter fraud is incredibly rare—but does occur. Somewhat ironically, the anecdotes often serve to better show that fraud is difficult and largely ineffective: the perpetrators are caught and any damage they did is addressed. For example, a North Carolina GOP operative was charged with multiple felonies for ballot tampering in a 2018 election. The results were overturned. The rhetorical tactic of hyperbole is also used as are outright lies, such as claims made by Attorney General Barr. Willful misinterpretation is also a common tactic—for example, a New Jersey postal worker did dump 99 general election ballots in a dumpster over the course of a few days. While this might seem to be a case of intentional election tampering, the worker dumped more than 1,800. . .

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News source: A Philosopher's Blog

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