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As Congress certifies election, evidence of these voting irregularities looms large

The storyline that voting irregularities claims are "baseless" is debunked by well documented evidence from courts, state officials and affidavits. That's why large numbers of state legislators are raising red flags.

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The U.S. Capitol
The U.S. Capitol
(Mary Rodriguez/Getty)
Updated: January 6, 2021 - 11:47pm

Depending on the social circles and news sources one fancies, the 2020 election was either hijacked by fraud and irregularities, or so well run that its outcome is not in doubt and any claims to the contrary are, in the words of some reporters, "baseless."

But if we've learned one lesson in the era of incessant cable TV and social media, it's that the truth can't be hurried — and the sensationalized early headlines are often deceiving.

Remember, Trump colluded with Russia … until he didn't. And Jacob Blake was declared shot unarmed … when in fact he was armed with a knife.  And let's not forget that Hunter Biden's business scandal was Russian disinformation … until he admitted he was under criminal investigation.

That is why more than 100 state legislators from the battleground states of Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Arizona and Georgia sent an 11th hour letter Tuesday to Vice President Mike Pence saying they are not yet confident in the declarations that Joe Biden won their state and want 10 days to investigate further.

That's a large bloc, yes all Republican, but one that shouldn't be ignored when their letter includes a massive index of evidence of irregularities, some of which have been validated by court rulings, official government documents or sworn affidavits.

Just the News worked with more than three dozen journalists across the country for eight weeks trying to investigate claims of irregularities. Many got dismissed, but some were substantially documented by courts, election officials or testimony.

Here are some of the voting irregularities that the Just the News election integrity project documented:

  1. Wisconsin illegally permitted large numbers of residents to evade voter ID requirements by simply declaring they were "indefinitely confined" at home because of COVID-19. Wisconsin's Supreme Court ruled in December that state officials violated the law when they allowed this mass exemption without getting required legislative approval, putting in doubt as many as 200,000 votes in a state where Biden and President Trump were separated by 200,000.
  2. Officials in Fulton County, Georgia, home of the city of Atlanta, prematurely moved data cards from 36 voting machines before voting ended. State officials had advised the county that the cards should be removed just before they reached 10,000 votes, the apparent storage limit for the cards, but county officials admit they removed cards with as few as 3,000 counted votes and locked them in a cabinet. The exact reasons and chain of custody are not fully clear.
  3. Jessy Jacob, a career Detroit city employee with three decades of experience, testified both in an affidavit and at a legislative hearing that for weeks leading to Election Day and at least one full day after, she and her fellow election workers were instructed to manipulate and alter ballots and voter rolls, including falsely backdating ballot requests and actual ballots. City officials have not provided evidence to contest her claims.
  4. Multiple GOP election observers in states like Georgia, Michigan and Pennsylvania have testified they were wrongly dismissed on election night or kept from being able to provide bipartisan oversight as has been required and embraced for decades.
  5. Wisconsin did not, as required by state law, purge between 100,000 and 200,000 outdated voter registrations from its rolls before the November contest as had been done in prior elections. Litigation concerning this oversight is ongoing.
  6. Georgia state officials acknowledged last month they have 250 open cases of alleged voter fraud or irregularities from the 2020 election and rolled in additional state investigators to help.
  7. In Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, state election officials allowed county clerks to "cure" or "fix" errant ballots without rejecting them though the state legislatures had not approved such mechanisms. Some counties engaged in "curing" while others did not, fearful such activity was illegal.

There are numerous other claims, like those of the Data Integrity Group, who have offered analyses of vote count irregularities, as well as videotape of apparent ballots in suitcases or trucks that have not been fully explained or investigated.

But those irregularities that have already been documented give many state legislators heartburn and a desire to investigate further in the new year as to whether the documented problems could have changed the outcomes. Wisconsin, in particular, is gaining momentum for further investigations

"We know laws were broken," Wisconsin State Rep. Joe Sanfelippo said in an interview Tuesday. "That's indisputable. What we don't know is whether the breaking of those laws affected the outcome of the election."

Sanfelippo said that is why he and other lawmakers are asking Pence for a week to 10-day delay to investigate.

"The U.S. Constitution gives us authority to determine how elections are run," he said. "All of that assumes the law is going to be followed by those who implement it. And now that we know the law wasn't followed in this election, so as state legislators it is up to us to determine did that have any effect on the outcome, to hold those people who didn't follow the law accountable and to make sure in the future those laws are followed."

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