Trump-appointed election official says president’s claims are ‘baffling’ and court evidence ‘laughable’

Such statements ‘cause Americans to lose confidence in the process’

Zoe Tidman
Saturday 14 November 2020 14:52 GMT
Election official Ben Hovland on Trump's election claims: 'We see these bold claims... but we've seen zero real evidence'
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A Trump-appointed election official has slammed the outgoing president’s claims as “baffling” and his legal challenges “laughable” following the Republican’s election defeat. 

Donald Trump has made baseless claims over widespread voter fraud during the US presidential election that he lost – which security officials have called the “most secure in American history”

When asked about Mr Trump claiming millions of votes towards him had been deleted by software, Ben Hovland from the Election Assistance Commission (EAC) said: “Number one, it is pretty baffling.

“Number two, I just wish that if claims like that were going to be made, they would actually be backed up with something credible.”

He told MIT Technology Review that statements like these “cause Americans to lose confidence in the process”, which was “really concerning”. 

Mr Trump has refused to concede to Joe Biden following the US election, and has continuted making claims without evidence that he was cheated by widespread election fraud. 

Several of his legal challenges have failed in court.

Mr Hovland, who chairs the EAC, which works to ensure "accessible, accurate and secure elections”, said Mr Trump’s litigation was not matching up to claims made on social media.  

“We see bold statements on Twitter or at the podium, and we see hearsay and we see laughable evidence presented to courts,” he told MIT Technology Review. “There’s just not a correlation between those.”

Mr Hovland, who was appointed by Mr Trump, said these unsubstantiated claims about voter fraud were “disrespectful to the people who run elections”. 

US officials have found there was no evidence votes were comprised in this year’s presidential election, releasing a statement claiming it was the most secure US election to date. 

“While we know there are many unfounded claims and opportunities for misinformation about the process of our elections, we can assure you we have the utmost confidence in the security and integrity of our elections, and you should too,“ the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency said.

Despite this, Trump supporters were expected to rally on Saturday in support of the president’s claims over election fraud.

Additional reporting by Reuters

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