"Deleted Votes" Claim, 2020 Election, Erie County, New York

pizzadelivery

New Member
Debunkers, I came across a user sharing screenshots on Twitter that purport to show a reduction in vote count for Trump in Erie County, New York in the 2020 election taking place between the night of November 3rd and the next day.
20210109_012654.jpg
Characteristics to such posts the author was evasive when challenged about his (or her) allegations. Here is a link to the Twitter thread.
I dug around myself and found that the number of votes credited to each candidate at "100% reporting" in the image does not match the results provided elsewhere.

I was curious what other reputations can be offered to this claim? Does anyone recognize the website where the image was pulled from? Is it a fake image altogether?
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
I dug around myself and found that the number of votes credited to each candidate at "100% reporting" in the image does not match the results provided elsewhere.
Yeah, they do. The numbers in your source are slightly more than the 11/04/2020 numbers in that image, so that'd account for some late-arriving absentee/military/overseas ballots, maybe?

But the image on the left looks fake: if Trump had as big a lead as that with that many votes reported, I believe the county should've been red on the map, but it's white because it hasn't been called yet. Or do they only color in 100% reported counties? With no source, we can't tell.

The first instance of this image is November 5th, here: https://247sports.com/college/usc/b...ntial-election-149479997/?page=170#M154217380

That was 2 months ago, the GOP had a hotline, if there was something behind that, it'd be all over the news now.

I've looked at the 2016 results on the Erie County website that you linked.
https://elections.erie.gov/Files/El...16/2016-General-Election-Canvass-Book-WEB.pdf
Erie County 2016.png
205773+7302+2381=215456 votes (49.9%) for Hillary Clinton
159742+28561=188303 votes (43.6%) for Donald Trump

Donald Trump actually did better in 2020 than in 2016 in Erie County, percentage-wise.

Joe Biden won the state of New York by a wide margin of almost 2 million votes; it makes no sense for Democrats to commit fraud in New York, as it would have no effect.

I'd expect that if the numbers are indeed correct, there might have been some kind of tabulation error that was later corrected; the election office there would know about that.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Joe Biden won the state of New York by a wide margin of almost 2 million votes; it makes no sense for Democrats to commit fraud in New York, as it would have no effect.
Indeed, if anything this is evidence against other similar changes being indicators of election fraud. The intense desire for results leads to unverified numbers being put up on screen, only to later be corrected. The unfortunate outcome is that it raises people's suspicions as they can't see what is going on behind the scenes.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
Joe Biden won the state of New York by a wide margin of almost 2 million votes; it makes no sense for Democrats to commit fraud in New York, as it would have no effect.

disagree. although i dont believe in "conspiracies" with politics most of the time: i think so called "conspiracies" are really just like-minded individuals happening to take the same actions, without coordination, because they are like-minded.

Just because fudging some votes in Erie wouldnt change the NY total, doesnt at all mean that an individual did not mess around with ballots in Erie.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
disagree. although i dont believe in "conspiracies" with politics most of the time: i think so called "conspiracies" are really just like-minded individuals happening to take the same actions, without coordination, because they are like-minded.
Yes.
In a crime investigation, you're asking for means, motive, and opportunity.

If the like-minded motivation is "let Biden win the State of New York", the means to do that is to do nothing: New York State is traditionally safely blue, you can achieve that goal without doing anything illegal at all.
So if you contend that fraud was committed, you need to supply an additional motive beyond "they wanted Biden to win" to justify the otherwise unneeded and risky effort.

But the crime also fails on "means": as the event shows, modifying the election night electronic tabulation is useless because that change won't last: it must be uncovered when the vote is audited, at the very least. Erie County uses paper ballots:
Article:
The DS200 Ballot Scanner system is a portable electronic voting system that uses an optical scanner to read marked paper ballots and tally the results. This system allows for paper ballots to be immediately tabulated at your polling site. The DS200 also notifies you of any voting errors. You will be able to immediately correct these errors to ensure that Your Vote Counts!
[..]

ES&S DS200 Counties:​

  • Albany County
  • Erie County
  • [...]

There is a paper ballot for each vote.
That means for election fraud to persist, you not only have to change the electronic count, you also have to change the same number of paper ballots (tens of thousands!) from Trump to Biden. (You need to match the number of ballots cast!) This is not happening "without coordination"; and it will likely also change the outcome of many down-ballot races in similarly obvious ways.
The strongest argument against the idea that someone had the means to do this is the fact that it wasn't done.

Opportunity is also a problem, with poll watchers, and supervisors.


There's an alternate hypothesis to the "somebody made an error" theory: a Trump supporter quickly changed the election night electronic tally, either at the polling place, or on the unofficial site that reported these results (security would be a lot easier to overcome there), or they just edited the screenshot: the motivation would be to make it seem that Trump had won the county, and then not, supporting the previously announced "fraud" narrative. The Trump supporter doesn't need to make their change stick; in fact, exposing the change is their goal.

So, we can consider 3 hypothesis:
A) We're looking at a tabulation error, similar to Antrim County, MI
B) Democrats planned fraud to turn a traditionally blue county more blue
C) a Trump supporter modified the election night electronic tally at the election office, or at the election reporting site, or on the screenshot.

From the argument above, B) is the least likely hypothesis. It implies that Democrats are stupid (no means) and do illegal things for no reason (no motive).
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
PA did pass a resolution to check out voting issues. not sure when results would come out or if they havealready
Article:
In an email to county election officials provided to Votebeat and Spotlight PA, a Department of State employee said the timeline to complete the audit was extended to Jan. 22 after the agency heard from “multiple counties” that the original deadline of Jan. 3 wouldn’t be feasible “due to year-end staffing limitations during the holiday season, as well as COVID outbreaks.”
[..]
Counties are already required by state law to audit a set number of votes before they are certified — traditionally, counties select ballots to audit from a few precincts or voting machines — but that type of review only confirms that a voting machine functioned properly and correctly counted ballots, said Tammy Patrick, a senior advisor to the elections program at the Democracy Fund.

A risk-limiting audit, on the other hand, provides a statistical assurance that the right winner was named by evaluating paper ballots selected through a mathematical equation, Ms. Patrick said. The “risk” in risk-limiting audit refers to how likely it is that the audit will catch an error in the original outcome of the race.
[..]
In Allegheny County, spokesperson Amie Downs said the elections office will have to pull 5,045 ballots out of nearly 720,000 cast, and workers will start the first week of January.
[..]
Ms. Patrick said election experts like risk-limiting audits for another reason: They help ensure that the election was administered correctly and ballots were stored properly.

“A risk-limiting audit is another way of making sure that all of the chain of custody, all of the administrative protocols of record retention are being followed,” she said. Improperly stored ballots could affect the outcome of the audit, she added.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
I'm not really sure why deirdre is bringing up Pennsylvania in topic about New York.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
In a crime investigation, you're asking for means, motive, and opportunity.

that's alot of words for a segue from topic.

if the motivation for protesters was to embolden congressmen to reject electoral votes, then storming the Capitol makes literally no sense. so that crime never happened either?

you have an outlook on the human animal that is very different to mine.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
Article:

Types of Post-Election Audits​

There are several variations of post-election audits used in states.

Traditional Post-Election Audits: Most audits look at a fixed percentage of voting districts or voting machines (see table below for details) and compare the paper record to the results produced by the voting system. Even in a landslide election, they will count the same number of ballots as they would in a nail-biter election.

  • 34 states and DC require a traditional post-election audit: [..] Arizona, [..], Georgia, [..], Michigan, [..] New York, [..], Pennsylvania,[..] and Wisconsin.
Traditional post-election audits are usually conducted manually by hand counting a portion of the paper records and comparing them to the electronic results produced by an electronic voting machine. However, some states have a process by which some or all of the audit can be conducted electronically. This may be done with the assistance of a computer or a tabulation device other than the one that was initially used to tabulate results. And, some traditional post-election audits use a "tiered" system, which means a different number of ballots are reviewed, depending on the margin of victory.
[..]

StateAudit TypeScope and MethodWho Conducts the Audit?TimingWhat Happens if a Discrepancy is Found?Who Can Observe?
New York
N.Y. Election Law § 9-211 (McKinney 2015)
9 N.Y. Comp. Rules & Regs. 6210.18
TraditionalRandom selection of 3% of machines.County Board of Elections, with oversight from the State Board of Elections.Within 15 days of each general or special election and within 7 days of every primary or village election.If there is an unresolved discrepancy of even a single vote, the manual count is conducted again. An expanded audit is required if discrepancies would alter the vote share by 0.1% or if discrepancies are found in at least 10% of the machines audited. When an expanded audit is required, an additional 5% of machines are audited, then an additional 12% if the discrepancy still exists, and if the discrepancy is still found, a full manual recount.Each candidate, political party or independent body entitled to appoint watchers to a polling place is entitled to appoint watchers to observe the audit.
 
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Mendel

Senior Member.
that's alot of words for a segue from topic.

if the motivation for protesters was to embolden congressmen to reject electoral votes, then storming the Capitol makes literally no sense. so that crime never happened either?

you have an outlook on the human animal that is very different to mine.
Mob mentality rarely makes sense afterwards; the idea of "we'll go there and affect this process" provides motivation. But yeah, I wouldn't put the motive down as "embolden", but rather as "intimidate", with "embolden" being the euphemism used to describe bending someone else's actions to one's own will.

-- motive: show of power to convince Mike Pence to support Trump and overturn the election

Giuliani wanted to delay the certification, which provides motivation to set the mob loose in the first place.

But yet again, you've gone off topic.
 

pizzadelivery

New Member
I was alerted that my post breaks the Link Policy because I did not provide adequate descriptions of the links provided in the post. The edit option that appears at the bottom of posts has disappeared, so I am unable to amend the original text. The first link is to the Twitter thread in which a user posted the image that I included in the above post. S/he claims to have taken the screenshot her/himself. The second link directs you to the Erie County (NY) Government website featuring the vote totals from the November election. I mistakenly stated in the original post that the results on the right side of the image do not match the totals provided by the county. They in fact do. The 99% reporting results on the left side of the image, however, are likely fabricated.
 
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