09:07 GMT23 January 2021
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    On Monday, the Electoral College gathered across all 50 US states to formally cast ballots following the 2020 presidential election, casting 302 electoral votes for Democratic candidate Joe Biden and effectively confirming his victory. President Donald Trump continues to refuse to concede, accusing his opponents of large-scale voter fraud.

    A court-ordered forensic audit of Dominion voting machines used in the battleground state of Michigan has discovered that the machines were not only prone to fantastical tabulation errors, but that they appeared to be deliberately designed to do so.

    Allied Security Operations Group (ASOG), the Texas-based cybersecurity firm hired to carry out the audit, indicated in its report that Dominion machines in Michigan’s Antrim County showed a 68 percent error rate in the tabulation of votes, far, far beyond the 0.0008 percent allowance outlined by the Federal Election Commission.

    The partially-redacted report further claimed that the error rate was a “feature,” and that Dominion machines seemed “intentionally and purposefully designed with inherent errors to create systemic fraud and influence election results.”

    According to ASOG, “the system intentionally generates an enormously high number of ballot errors,” with electronic ballots “then transferred for adjudication,” allowing for “bulk adjudication of ballots with no oversight, no transparency, and no audit trail.”

    The report also claims that election software was altered after the 3 November election to “obfuscate evidence of fraud and/or to correct program errors that would decertify the election.”

    On the bsis of its findings, ASOG recommended that Dominion voting machines no longer be used in future elections, and suggested that the results of the 2020 election in Antrim Country “should not have been certified.”

    State Authorities Dismiss Report After Battling Its Release in Court

    Michigan Elections Director Jonathan Brater dismissed the audit, saying it “makes a series of unsupported conclusions, ascribes motives of fraud and obfuscation to processes that are easily explained as routine election procedures or error corrections, and suggests without explanation that elements of election software not used in Michigan are somehow responsible for tabulation or reporting errors that are either nonexistent or easily explained.”

    Brater added that a hand tally of ballots in Antrim County would be carried out to “provide further verification that the Antrim County results are accurate.” That audit is expected to begin Thursday.

    Dominion Voting Systems rejected any allegations of wrongdoing, saying in a statement that it has been the subject of a “continuing malicious and widespread disinformation campaign” since the 3 November vote, and that its systems “have passed rigorous state and federal testing and certification protocols” demonstrating them to be “accurate and reliable.”

    Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson and Attorney General Dana Nessel also dismissed the report’s conclusions, issuing a joint statement in which they called the audit “another in a long stream of misguided, vague and dubious assertions designed to erode public confidence in the November presidential election.” The statement also suggested that ASOG had “no apparent expertise in election administration and technology.”

    Judge Kevin Elsenheimer of Michigan’s 13th Circuit Court ordered for the ASOG report to be publicly released Monday in redacted form. State and county officials initially objected to the release, but later backtracked.

    According to The Detroit News, Antrim Country, a solidly Republican stronghold in past elections, was mired in controversy after election night results showed Biden inexplicably leading Trump by thousands of votes. Local officials later stated that the publicized results were erroneous, and were the result of problems in reporting. Trump went on to win the county by over 3,700 votes.

    Trump lost the state of Michigan to Biden by some 154,000 votes, however, netting the state’s 16 Electoral College votes to the Democratic candidate. The president has since accused election officials in that state and others of stealing the election.

    Trump tweeted about Allied Security Operations Group’s report late Monday night, calling it “BIG NEWS” and saying that Dominion voting machines were “a disaster all over the Country” that “changed the results of a landslide election.”

    The president has accused his opponents of using a variety of techniques to deprive him of victory, accusing officials in Democrat-run urban areas in battleground states of a range of wrongdoing, from mass mail-in ballot vote dumps in the dead of night, to kicking election monitors out of count rooms, to using Dominion machines for manipulate the results. Trump has also insisted that his campaign has “hundreds and hundreds” of sworn affidavits to back up these allegations.

    Trump’s legal team filed dozens of lawsuits in the contested states. These lawsuits have been broadly rejected, with the state of Texas subsequently filing a lawsuit with the Supreme Court accusing officials in Michigan, Georgia, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin of violating their own legislatures’ statutes via last minute changes to election rules to allow for vast numbers of insecure mail-in ballots. The Supreme Court threw out Texas’s case on Friday, declaring that the state had failed to demonstrate a “judicially cognizable interest in the manner in which another state conducts its elections.”

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