National Review of Retaining Election Records from the 2020 Election

789 Pages Posted: 10 Oct 2022

See all articles by John R. Lott

John R. Lott

Crime Prevention Research Center

Stephen Smith

America First Policy Institute (AFPI)

Date Written: August 31, 2022

Abstract

We had a simple goal: match the number of voters who voted with the number of ballots cast. After elections, concerns are raised that ballots were counted multiple times (so that there could be more ballots cast than voters who voted) and that ballots were destroyed (so that there could be more voters who voted than ballots cast).

We have no interest in relitigating past elections. But transparency is essential if we are to restore confidence. Unfortunately, transparency is lacking even in places that aren’t on anyone’s radar for vote fraud.

We issued Freedom of Information Act requests for the 100 most populous counties from fourteen swing states that determined the last presidential election. Ninety-four of the counties didn’t keep records of who voted in elections. Equally disturbing, even in the six counties that did keep records, there was on average a 2.89 percent discrepancy between the number of people voting and the number of ballots cast.

In Miami-Dade, Florida, the discrepancy was about 1.6% -- a difference of 16,617 votes. That’s a discrepancy that can very well swing elections. In 2018, Rick Scott won Florida’s U.S. Senate seat by 10,033 votes.

Cobb County, Georgia, had a massive, 8.8% discrepancy that amounts to 34,893 votes. That gap, in a county that Biden carried by 14 percentage points, was three times Biden’s winning margin in Georgia in 2020.

Keywords: vote fraud, election data

JEL Classification: K14

Suggested Citation

Lott, John R. and Smith, Stephen, National Review of Retaining Election Records from the 2020 Election (August 31, 2022). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4205992 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4205992

John R. Lott (Contact Author)

Crime Prevention Research Center ( email )

PO Box 2293
1100 W Kent Ave
Missoula, MT 59801
United States

Stephen Smith

America First Policy Institute (AFPI) ( email )

United States

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