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VERIFY: No evidence that presidential election votes were tallied overseas

President Trump's lawyers led a press conference that lasted more than an hour but was light on evidence.

On Thursday, Rudy Giuliani led a team of Trump campaign lawyers in a nearly two-hour press conference. They cast doubt on the use of voting machines and claimed that ballots from the Nov. 3 presidential election were counted outside the U.S. 

THE QUESTION

Were U.S. ballots cast on voting machines actually counted in foreign countries? 

THE ANSWER

There’s currently no evidence that U.S. votes were sent to another country and counted there. Data from the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency and VerifiedVoting, a nonpartisan nonprofit that studies election systems and their security, show that most counties process and count their ballots within the county. They also show a series of redundancies that would allow any vote tampering to be caught.

WHAT WE FOUND

VerifiedVoting keeps a running map of all voting equipment in the U.S., broken down by county. 

It separates the balloting into three categories.

First are hand-marked ballots, a physical ballot that a voter fills out and turns in. They’re counted by hand or scanned by election staff.

Second are ballot-marking devices and systems. You vote on an electronic system that spits out a filled-out printed ballot, which is then scanned by election staff.

Finally, there are “direct recording electronic” systems. The votes are cast on and tallied in the same machines. Most can give a paper count in case of an audit or recount.

Credit: AP
Former Mayor of New York Rudy Giuliani, a lawyer for President Donald Trump, speaks during a news conference at the Republican National Committee headquarters, Thursday Nov. 19, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

The common thread is that they’re all counted in the county and they have redundancies like paper trails in-case questions arise.

On its rumor vs. reality page, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency explains that these redundancies ensure the election is secure and the voting machines are accurate and reliable.

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Additionally, a  spokeswoman for the National Association of Secretaries of State, representing the officials who typically oversee elections, said, “Elections in the United States of America are administered, run, counted and certified by state and local election officials. We have never heard of votes being tabulated in a foreign country.”

BOTTOM LINE

Votes are counted by each county in the United States - and they all have safeguards to ensure accuracy. There’s no evidence that 2020 presidential election votes were counted outside the country.

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