Fact-checking of “2000 Mules”, the movie about vote fraud – The Denver Post

A film that debuts in more than 270 theaters in the United States this week uses flawed analysis of cell phone location data and surveillance footage from ballot boxes to cast doubt on the results of the 2020 presidential election, nearly 18 months after they were held. past.

Hailed by former President Donald Trump as exposing “major electoral fraud,” the film, dubbed “2000 Mules,” paints an ominous picture suggesting Democrat-aligned “mules” were supposedly paid to illegally collect and dispose of ballots. to be given in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

But that’s based on erroneous assumptions, anonymous accounts and incorrect analysis of cell phone location data, which experts say isn’t accurate enough to confirm someone put a ballot in a drop box.

Produced by conservative filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza, the film uses research from Texas-based nonprofit True the Vote, which has spent months lobbying states to use its findings to change voting laws. Neither responded to a request for comment.

Here’s a closer look at the facts.

CLAIM: At least 2,000 “mules” were paid to illegally collect and deliver ballots to deliver boxes in key swing states ahead of the 2020 presidential election.

THE FACTS: It is true that the vote has not proved this. The finding is based on false assumptions about the precision of cell phone tracking data and the reasons someone might issue multiple ballots, experts said.

“Ballot harvesting” is a pejorative term for handing out completed ballots to people other than yourself. The practice is legal in several states, but largely illegal in the states that True the Vote has targeted, with some exceptions for family, household members, and people with disabilities.

True, the Vote has said it found some 2,000 ballot boxes by purchasing $2 million worth of anonymized cell phone geolocation data — the “pings” that track a person’s location based on app activity — in different swing counties in five states. Then, by drawing a virtual boundary around the ballot boxes of a county and several unnamed nonprofits, it identified cell phones that repeatedly came close to both ahead of the 2020 election.

If a cell phone went near a dropbox more than 10 times from October 1 to Election Day and a nonprofit more than five times, True the Vote assumed the owner was a “mule” — the name for someone who was involved in an illegal vote-gathering scheme in cahoots with a non-profit.

The group’s claims of a paid election manifesto are only supported in the film by an unidentified whistleblower reportedly from San Luis, Arizona, who said she saw people who she believed were “presumed” ballot collection payments. . The film contains no evidence of such payments in other states in 2020.

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