Sunday, July 14, 2024

OPINION: Data expert debunks Trump’s election claims

by CHUCK MALLOY/Guest Opinion
| June 28, 2024 1:00 AM

So, you still think that the 2020 presidential election was “rigged” and that former President Trump should have been in the White House all along. Perhaps you believe Trump when he continues to insist that he won the election by a wide margin. 

Obviously, Trump has not spent time with Ken Block — who the Trump campaign hired to find voter fraud in the wake of the 2020 election. Block isn’t about to get into a shouting match with Trump, but he has written a book (“Disproven”) that knocks down every claim that Trump and his supporters made. And Trump’s campaign attorney, Alex Cannon, has provided testimony to the validity of Block’s findings. 

“It simply was not there,” Block told me in a telephone conversation. “There was fraud, but not enough to change any of the results in any of the swing states. That’s different from the campaign rhetoric saying that the election was stolen. None of the rhetoric comes with any kind of defensible data.” 

Even Trump’s White House chief of staff, Mark Meadows, couldn’t dispute Block’s findings. “So, there’s no there there,” he said in a talk with Cannon. 

Block had all the motivation for finding election fraud, and the expertise to do the job. He’s a technology entrepreneur from Rhode Island with expertise in analyzing voter data. He sifted through mounds of claims and theories, from the “plausible” to the “outrageous,” during his time with the Trump campaign. Basically, he was looking for fraud with the gusto of a prospector panning for gold. 

“Attorneys were not going to court with false claims of fraud. They wanted me to, if I could, determine if the fraud cases were true. Or if they were false, they asked me to prove that they were false,” Block said. “Every one was determined to be false. So, when people hear there was massive voter fraud, they need to think critically about what the claim is, because the only claims that matter from a legal sense are the ones that can be defended in court.” 

Block had a short time frame for his work, but he said time was not a factor and he had sufficient resources. “If there was massive voter fraud, heck yeah, I wanted to be the guy to find it, because our democracy would truly be at risk if there was demonstrable provable voter fraud. I knew we had the ability to find it if it was there.” 

Block’s decision to write a book came during publicity surrounding the Jan. 6 Committee. As he explains, “I didn’t want somebody else telling the story, or providing a framework that was not mine. I’m essentially talking about all of this at the risk of perjuring myself. If you are trying to figure out if I’m full of it, there’s no way I would risk my freedom to make up stuff like this.” 

Although Block found no evidence to help with Trump’s case, he found plenty of quirks in the election process. In New Jersey, for instance, there are 25,000 registered voters with a birth date of 1800.  

“Before anyone views that as a smoking gun gun for voter fraud, it’s not,” Block says. “New Jersey has a bad computer system and election officials are negligent in cleaning up something that’s missing, which is an actual date of birth.” 

One glaring weakness in elections overall is the lack of systemic uniformity, he said. “It’s hard to track voters who move from state to state, because states are not sharing their data. What we don’t have is a federal database to ensure that voters have just one registration. So, our elections are by no means perfect. That being said, I haven’t seen in more than a decade of doing this any claims of fraud that survives scrutiny.” 

Over time, we’ll see if Block’s work survives scrutiny from the MAGA crowd. The book may not read like a compelling John Grisham page-turner, but it provides interesting fodder for those who want to know once and for all if the 2020 election was stolen from Trump. 

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Silver Valley native Chuck Malloy is a longtime Idaho journalist and columnist. He may be reached at

    Ken Block