President Donald Trump on Thursday evening listed a string of unfounded conspiracy theories to accuse state election officials of plotting to steal the election from him. Taking the White House lectern for his first public address since election night, Trump offered no evidence for his assertions that officials are rigging the tallies or for his characterization of mail-in ballots as somehow illegitimate. The address came as his Democratic opponent, former Vice President Joe Biden, expands his lead to secure the presidency and as Trump’s path to a second term hinges on winning four key states. Those states have yet to finish counting their ballots amid an unprecedented number of mail-in voting because of the coronavirus pandemic. “If you count the legal votes, I easily win,” Trump said. “If you count the illegal votes, they can try to steal the election from us. If you count the votes that came in late — we‘re looking at them very strongly, but a lot of votes came in late.” State elections officials have resoundingly denied they are counting “illegal votes“ and have assured voters that this year’s election was hardly the chaos many feared due to Covid-19. Despite the occasional technical glitch and extended polling-site hours, there were no reports of major issues or interference. Though counting is taking longer this year, there is no support for the position that mailed-in ballots were part of a mass fraud.
A failure to properly update software was the reason for a computer glitch that caused massive errors in unofficial election results reported from Antrim county, the Michigan Department of State said late Friday. And a U-M professor of computer science and engineering who specializes in voting systems and securities says it appears the snafu arose from an “unusual sequence of events very unlikely to affect any other jurisdictions.” … J. Alex Halderman, the U-M professor and voting systems expert, said he has looked into the incident and determined that the problem arose because Antrim officials made a mistake before the election when they loaded a new version of the “election definition” — the data that is similar to a spreadsheet describing the races and candidates on the ballot. According to the state, the new “election definition” was loaded in October after county officials learned of two local races in which ballot information had to be updated. County officials correctly loaded the new version onto the scanners for the affected precincts, but left the old version on scanners for precincts where the ballot was not affected by the late change, Halderman said. So although the scanners in the tabulators counted all the votes in each precinct correctly, the different versions of the ballot resulted in problems and erroneous vote totals when the precinct results were combined in the election management system, a separate software package used to manage and consolidate results before they are reported to the state, he said. “Since the scanners … used slightly different election definitions, some of the positions didn’t line up properly,” Halderman said. “As a result, when the results were read by the election management system, some of them were initially assigned to the wrong candidates.”