So, Did ‘Bad Things Happen’ With the Election in Philadelphia?

(This op-ed was first published in The New York Times on November 19, 2020.)

Ten Recommendations to Ensure a Healthy and Trustworthy 2020 Election
Nate Persily (left), James B. McClatchy Professor of Law, and Charles Stewart III (right), Kenan Sahin Distinguished Professor of Political Science

Despite President Trump’s message, the evidence shows no signs of fraud.

Joe Biden’s lead in the presidential election results in Pennsylvania has now surpassed 81,000 votes, far exceeding Donald Trump’s 44,000-vote victory margin there four years ago. Yet the Trump campaign continues to claim in court huge but incalculable levels of fraud, particularly in Philadelphia.

As with cases filed elsewhere around the country, Mr. Trump will not succeed. Even a cursory examination of the data refutes any notion of substantial voting fraud.

As a threshold matter, it is important to understand how eerily similar the 2020 results in Philadelphia were to 2016. As of Tuesday evening, 743,966 votes for president had been counted in Philadelphia — an increase of 34,348 votes from 2016.

(Continue reading the op-ed on the The New York Times’ page here.)

Nate Persily is the James B. McClatchy Professor of Law at Stanford Law School. Charles Stewart III is the Kenan Sahin Distinguished Professor of Political Science at MIT. They are co-directors of the Stanford-MIT Healthy Elections Project.