GOP Commissioner Debunks Conspiracy Theory About Dead Voters Casting Ballots In Philly

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by BRYAN R. SMITH/AFP via Getty Images)
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November 11, 2020 2:32 p.m.

Republican Philadelphia City Commissioner Al Schmidt said Wednesday that his city had “the most transparent and secure election in the history of Philadelphia,” pushing back on claims of widespread fraud that he said have “no basis in fact at all.”

The comments come after President Donald Trump and his campaign have leveraged baseless attacks on the integrity of the election, waging fizzling legal battles against fraud without evidence exclusively in battleground states that reported a projected loss for the one-term president who was defeated by President-elect Joe Biden on Saturday. 

“What evidence of any widespread fraud have you seen in the count in Philadelphia?” CNN’s John Berman asked the elections official during an interview on Wednesday morning.

“I have not,” Schmidt said. The Republican commissioner’s defense of the election’s integrity in his city, come as Trump and his GOP allies continue to baselessly cast doubt over the election results in the state broadly, but in the city of Philadelphia in particular.

“I have seen the most fantastical things on social media, making completely ridiculous allegations that have no basis in fact at all and see them spread,” the Republican elections official said. While acknowledging that many people were unhappy with the results he said he unable to comprehend “how hungry people are to consume lies and to consume information that is not true. ” 

He cited among a long list of examples, a false claim that “dead voters” had cast ballots in the city, a conspiracy theory that was shared last week by  both Giuliani and Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), among others.

Schmit said that elections officials had taken the time to look at the ballot history of each deceased voter.

“Not a single one of them voted in Philadelphia after they died,” Schmidt said.

Giuliani, had falsely told Fox News over the weekend that Philadelphia is “an epicenter of voter fraud” adding that the campaign was “going to be looking at dead persons’ ballots, which may actually be very, very substantial.”

When asked to address efforts by the Trump campaign and its allies to spread falsehood about the integrity of the vote, Schmidt urged voters to be “mindful that there are bad actors who are lying to them.” 

“They need to turn to people that they trust and to sources of information that they trust and not rumors and not nonsense included in lawsuits or anything else like that to make sure that they have confidence in this system and that their vote, regardless of who they voted for, is going to be counted,” Schmidt said.

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