President Donald Trump, who lost his reelection bid last week, has spent his time since then firing high-ranking officials, playing golf, and lying about Dominion, a company that provides hardware and software for ballot counting. Driven by false reporting from the far-right news organization One America News Network, the narrative spun a swiftly corrected mistake into a mirage of widespread voter fraud.
At its heart was an error in Antrim County, Michigan, which authorities announced on Facebook on Nov. 4. Software was not updated properly, it was fixed, and the ballots were recounted.
“Results will become Official once the independent board of canvassers verify results starting tomorrow,” the post said.
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The current president’s supporters missed the incident until Laura Cox, chair of the Michigan Republican Party, held a press conference on Nov. 6, during which she inaccurately implied that other machines made by Dominion would make the same error.
Following the press conference, the Michigan secretary of state published a statement about what had happened.
“The erroneous reporting of unofficial results from Antrim County was a result of accidental error on the part of the Antrim County Clerk,” it said. “The equipment and software did not malfunction and all ballots were properly tabulated. However, the clerk accidentally did not update the software used to collect voting machine data and report unofficial results.”
The statement also laid out the steps that officials took to correct the error.
Trump has continued his assault on the election system by amplifying a baseless connection between Dominion and the Clinton Global Initiative, a claim popular with believers in the QAnon mass delusion, Snopes reported.
On Nov. 12, in an all-caps tweet, the president falsely claimed that “DOMINION DELETED 2.7 MILLION TRUMP VOTES NATIONWIDE,” citing OANN.
Chanel Rion, an OANN writer who has been at the center of the false narrative, appears to now be sourcing some of her claims from Ron Watkins, the former administrator of 8chan, a website frequented by white supremacists.
“Ms. Chanel Rion just reached out to me and Ill be talking with her about Dominion tomorrow,” Watkins tweeted on Nov. 12.
A spokesperson for Dominion told BuzzFeed News there was no basis for the claims of vote switching, which it has debunked on its website.
“Dominion Voting Systems categorically denies any claims about any vote switching or alleged software issues with our voting systems,” the spokesperson said. “Our systems continue to reliably and accurately count ballots, and state and local election authorities have publicly confirmed the integrity of the process.”
Despite the complete lack of evidence for voter fraud, Trump and his dwindling supporters have continued to attack Dominion as part of the “misinformation by a thousand cuts” strategy, as NBC News reported. The president, his family members, his staffers, and his supporters have collectively amplified at least 40 different online rumors, of which the Dominion system claim is only one.