Watch CBS News

Trump spreads baseless claim about Dominion Voting Systems after losing election

CISA: 2020 vote was "the most secure" ever
Cybersecurity officials say 2020 election was "the most secure in American history" 02:46

President Trump and campaign surrogates have claimed, without evidence, that widespread voter fraud occurred in the key battleground states that gave President-elect Joe Biden the necessary Electoral College votes to become the projected 46th president of the United States. The latest claim, that Dominion Voting Systems, a voting software company used in 28 states, deleted and switched votes intended for Mr. Trump, also does not hold water. 

"There is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised," said a statement posted Thursday by the federal agency that oversees election security, the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA). The joint statement, from the Election Infrastructure Government Coordinating Council and the Election Infrastructure Sector Coordinating Executive Committees, called the 2020 election "the most secure in American history." 

Nevertheless, the president on Thursday tweeted an unsubstantiated story from the pro-Trump One America News Network that Dominion "deleted 2.7 million Trump votes nationwide," citing "data analysis." 

The government's top cybersecurity official, CISA Director Chris Krebs, retweeted a message from election law expert and CBS News contributor David Becker warning against such "wild and baseless" claims.

The president's post, which was flagged by Twitter, tagged OANN personality Chanel Rion, who earlier in the week amplified the baseless claim that a "glitch" in the system caused Mr. Biden to initially lead in the historically Republican county. The Michigan secretary of state's office said it was a human error that was quickly corrected. 

The unsubstantiated OANN report included commentary from Mr. Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, who claimed without evidence that the error was widespread. "We have a complete breakdown of a software system called Dominion, in which in Antrim County Biden won on election night, only to find out that the software didn't work and it reversed the vote," Giuliani told OANN on Tuesday. "That Dominion technology was used in three-quarters to almost 80% of the state. So now we've got to look at how often did it breakdown in other parts of the state."

Antrim's unexpected results were immediately investigated by state election officials, who reported corrected numbers favoring the president on Friday, November 6. That same day, Michigan's secretary of state's office issued a statement calling claims of fraud in the county, made by Republican National Committee chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, "false," and explaining that the initial results were caused by human error, not Dominion's software.

"The erroneous reporting of unofficial results from Antrim county was a result of accidental error on the part of the Antrim County Clerk," reads the statement from the secretary of state's office. "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 secretary of state's office said Dominion's voting machines, or tabulators, scan paper ballots, which are then reported as unofficial results by the county clerk. Antrim's clerk failed to update software that combines the machine's totals, resulting in an inaccurate total — but correct counts from tabulators and the ballots themselves, which are kept for canvassing, a process that ensures all valid votes have been counted.

According to the SOS's office, "even if the error in the reported unofficial results had not been quickly noticed, it would have been identified during the county canvass," which are composed of two Democrats and two Republicans who "review the printed totals tape from each tabulator... to verify the reported vote totals are correct."

"As with other unofficial results reporting errors, this was an honest mistake and did not affect any actual vote totals. Election clerks work extremely hard and do their work with integrity. They are human beings, and sometimes make mistakes," the SOS statement said, adding, "However, there are many checks and balances that ensure mistakes can be caught and corrected."

A Dominion spokesperson said in a statement provided to CBS News that the company "categorically denies any claims about any vote switching or alleged software issues with our voting systems. Our systems continue to reliably and accurately count ballots, and state and local election authorities have publicly confirmed the integrity of the process."

According to a fact-checking page on their website titled Setting the Record Straight, "no credible reports or evidence of any software issues exist." 

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.