Presumed Rigged Until Further Notice

As I indicated in my previous column, the so-called mass media continues to emphasize that there is no proof the 2020 presidential election was “stolen” despite the fact that various individuals and groups have produced what appear to be credible evidence of wide-spread election fraud, cheating, and other “irregularities.” On the other hand, none of said media has ever applied the same standard to itself; the media even went so far as to assert the 2020 elections was the “most secure in American history,” there was no “outcome-determinative fraud” (a quote from President Trump’s third indictment), and that claims made by President Trump and others that the 2020 presidential election was “stolen” were false, despite failing to present factual and publicly verified proof of those claims.

For example, The Guardian writes “Governor Brian Kemp tells Trump Georgia’s 2020 election ‘was not stolen’” without indicating that Governor Kemp’s claim was unproven. This constitutes, undeniably, a double standard, and the logical conclusion given the lack of proof means that until proven otherwise, the 2020 election was not not stolen.

Let’s bring some logical precision to this heated debate.

Under given circumstances and at a certain point in time, claim “x” could be either true or false. It can only be true if, under the hypothetical circumstances and at the hypothetical time, it correctly describes part of the reality to which it pertains; otherwise, it is false.

Therein lies a dilemma—the same claim is sometimes true and sometimes untrue? This is why, while in doubt, supporting proof of “x” is expected. If such proof is provided and verified as a valid (logically and factually correct, that is) proof then “x” is settled as true. If a proof that the negation of “x” is provided and verified as valid, then “x” is settled as false. If none of the above is the case then it remains unknown whether the “x” is true or false, and it possibly can be either one (but not both at the same time and under the same circumstances).

As a matter of fact, about 100 years ago it was mathematically proven that there exists an infinite collection of claims that are true under any circumstances and time but do not have valid proofs; from this, one can conclude the existence of an infinite number of claims that can neither be proved or disproved.

The 2020 presidential election fraud deniers claim, without supporting proof, that there is no proof of “outcome-determinative” fraud. As a matter of fact, a large number of videos, eye-witness testimonies, and statistical anomalies during the vote-counting process have been recorded, some of them readily available on the web. Virtually none of the above has been factually disproved, or even investigated. So, it is not unreasonable to question the “most secure election in history” claim.

But let’s pretend that there is no unsightly evidence of “outcome-determinative fraud” hovering in the wings, waiting for a judge to permit it to enter the public legal record. To my best knowledge, at the time of this writing, there has been no publicly-presented proof that there wasn’t any “outcome-determinative” fraud. Therefore, the bottom line is that, as of now, it is not known what happened. In other words, President Trump’s claims may be considered unproven at this time, but claims of his deniers also remain unproven. And there is no factual and rational basis to award the deniers any benefit of doubt in this matter.

Some commentators attempt to invoke some kind of presumption of innocence while comparing those mutually contradictory claims. They suggest that the elections must be presumed fair and honest unless there is a proof, beyond reasonable doubt, that they have been not. However, the general principles of public trust suggest the opposite presumption, that is that the elections must be beyond reproach, so they should be presumed not fair and honest unless there is compelling evidence that they were.

Imagine a dictatorial junta that controls vote-counting in all elections and falsifies the results when they turn unfavorable to the junta. If the junta is powerful enough to conceal all the fraud and cheating it has committed and to intimidate its skeptics against publicly sharing the evidence of fraud and cheating, the voters will never be able to prove any election fraud. Does it mean that all elections doctored by the junta are fair and honest? If you think so then you are trying to be more naive than is possible.

The situation in a constitutional republic worth its name is quite opposite. There must be a factual basis for the public to believe that the elections are fair and honest. This requires scrupulous enforcement of safeguards that preclude occurrences of “outcome-determinative” election fraud. Such safeguards typically include: meaningful verification of a voter’s eligibility and identity; vote privacy that eliminates possibility of voter intimidation and vote-buying; incontrovertible proof of unbroken chain of custody for all votes (which does not exist with vote-by-mail and unsupervised vote-collection boxes); strictly followed and confirmed by public observers vote-counting routines that preclude things like altering the votes, accepting or injecting invalid of fraudulently manufactured votes, removal of valid votes, and falsifying the counts. If computerized machines are used for vote-counting, then the software that runs those machines must be open to public scrutiny and not hidden behind an impenetrable veil of “proprietary software” protection.

Without said safeguards, those who run the process can possibly manufacture any result they wish, just like the infamous Soviet dictator, Joseph Stalin, once purportedly noted, “Those who vote, they decide nothing. Those who count votes, they decide everything.”

Unfortunately, all above-mentioned safeguards were either nonexistent at some precincts, or circumvented due to a lack of scrutiny by public observers. And the number of red flags—including gross statistical anomalies (and impossibilities) during vote-counting—were so numerous, that it’d be more likely for you to win the lottery multiple times in a row than it would be that “outcome-determinative” fraud didn’t take place.

In other words, if there is a reasonable and well-documented doubt that the elections were fair and honest then the burden of proof lies on those who administered those elections, not with those who question them.

Otherwise, anyone may have a good reason to believe that the election was stolen, and charging skeptics with the “crime” of “spreading misinformation” and “lying” is not only absurdly wrong and unconstitutional but it also suggests that the election might have been stolen, indeed. For otherwise, the winning party would not mind disclosing all the records and data for unlimited public scrutiny in order to prove that everything was fine.

If you have to intimidate your skeptics or jail them in order to silence them, and to claim after you silenced them that there is “consensus” that no “outcome-determinative” election fraud took place in 2020, then I suppose that you must know that your denials cannot withstand serious and comprehensive public scrutiny and that you cannot prove that you did not steal the election.

Which is exactly what our government and the so-called “mainstream” media appear to be doing these days.

Mark Andrew Dwyer’s recent columns are posted here, here, and here.

Image: Gage Skidmore from Surprise, AZ, United States of America, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons, unaltered.

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