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Sunday, December 20, 2020
CNS Gives Platform To Non-Verified Claims That Non-Citizens Stole Election From Trump
Topic: has provided an uncritical echo to claims that the presidential election was stolen from President Trump through various means of purported fraud. Another example of this is a Nov. 9 column by James Agresti:

Based on current population data from the Census Bureau and voting data from previous elections, my organization,  Just Facts, has conducted a study to estimate the number of votes illegally cast by non-citizens in the battleground states of the 2020 election. The results—documented in this spreadsheet—show that such fraudulent activities have netted Joe Biden the following extra votes in these tightly contested states:

  • Arizona: 51,081 ± 17,689

  • Georgia: 54,950 ± 19,025

  • Michigan: 22,585 ± 7,842

  • Nevada: 22,021 ± 7,717

  • North Carolina: 46,218 ± 16,001

  • Pennsylvania: 32,706 ± 11,332

  • Wisconsin: 5,010 ± 1,774

If the lower end of these illegal vote estimates were removed from the vote tallies as of Nov. 8, 2020, 2:00 AM EST, Donald Trump would be leading in states that have a total of 259 electoral votes, or 11 shy of the 270 needed to win the presidency. If the upper end of the illegal vote estimates were removed, Trump would be leading in states that have 285 electoral votes, or 15 more than needed to win the presidency.

These estimates account for just one type of election fraud, and they tend to understate it because they depend on Census surveys, which are known to undercount non-citizens.

Agresti also threw a statement from "a Ph.D. scholar who specializes in data analytics who floridly declared: "Instead of adding politics, vitriol, and bias to this timely, heated topic, this study provides a credible data analysis that supports a strong hypothesis of non-citizens having a significant effect on this election. Any serious critic should try improving on these estimates, as opposed to dismissing them with unproven claims."

As we've documented, Agresti's group has a clear right-wing bias that leads it to bend the truth to fit conservative narratives, meaning that Just Facts is, in fact, adding politics and bias to support the conservative narrative that the election was stolen from Trump.

Agresti went on to complain: "A common argument used to dismiss facts about election fraud is that President Trump’s Advisory Commission on Election Integrity failed to find widespread evidence of such malfeasance. This claim is a classic half-truth because it neglects to reveal that the Commission existed for less than a year because its work was blocked by the refusal of states to turn over voter data and a flurry of lawsuits." Agresti failed to note that the reason states frefused to turn over election data to the commission was because it was never a legitimiate attempt to study "election integrity" and was seen by many as merely a tool to implement additional roadblocks to voting (another longtime conservative narrative), evidence of which was that it was stacked with conservatives and the Democrats on the commission were largely out of the loop regarding the group's proceedings.

Well, USA Today looked at Agresti's study and pointed out that it's all unverified speculation and that few non-citizens are likely to vote because of the harsh penalties -- i.e. deportation -- for doing so, and that the "Ph.D. scholar" who floridly signed off on the study is not an election expert. As you might imagine, Agresti didn't take that well, resulting in a Nov. 30 CNS column:

A “fact check” by USA Today is defaming a Ph.D.-vetted study by Just Facts that found non-citizens may have cast enough illegal votes for Joe Biden to overturn the lawful election results in some key battleground states. The article, written by USA Today’s Chelsey Cox, contains 10 misrepresentations, unsupported claims, half-truths, and outright falsehoods.

Furthermore, Facebook is using this misinformation to suppress the genuine facts of this issue instead of honoring its policy to “Stop Misinformation and False News.” Compounding this malfeasance, a note at the bottom of Cox’s article states that USA Today’s “fact check work is supported in part by a grant from Facebook.”

Most of Agresti's attack on the fact-check are picayune -- three involve attacking Cox for noting that neither of the scholars he cited as having "vetted" the study having relevant experience in elections -- and involve rants such as these: "Yet Cox describes this stunning array of documented facts with the phrase 'Agresti argues' and then rejects all of them in favor of an unsubstantiated claim from a progressive lawyer. That’s not fact-checking but propagandizing." As if Agresti isn't trying to do his own propagandizing in the first place.

Posted by Terry K. at 4:13 PM EST

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