Disinfo: The Guardian exposes how US Democrats exploited irregularities in mail-in voting

Summary

Millions of mail-in ballots didn’t reach US citizens, which gave the Democrats some space for their machinations, according to statistics by The Guardian. Mail-in voting, started by the Democratic Party, is already plagued with problems, since around 60 percent of citizens in 9 competitive states didn’t receive their ballots. The problem is not unexpected. The community of experts warned repeatedly that the US electoral system is not ready for such a drastic transition to mail-in voting. In this context, even the OSCE challenges the legitimacy of the election.

Disproof

This is a complete distortion of an article published in The Guardian in cooperation with ProPublica, tracking mail-in ballots in US swing states. Though the original article gives some data about the difficulties experienced by some citizens, such as figures of vote rejection, it never states that “mail-in voting is already plagued with problems”. The figure that 60 percent of citizens in 9 states didn’t receive their ballots is completely fabricated. Also, the claims that mail-in voting was started by the Democratic Party is false: a rudimentary version of the system was already in place as early as the American Civil War. There is no evidence backing the affirmation that this system gave the Democrats some space for machination. The claim that the OSCE challenges the legitimacy of the US 2020 election is blatantly false.

Pro-Kremlin media frequently resort to this manipulative technique of quoting sentences from serious publications and then introducing a distorted message as if it was part of the original article, in this case to promote a recurrent pro-Kremlin disinformation against the US Democratic Party and its presidential candidate Joe Biden, part of what US authorities, including FBI director Christopher Wray and the Department of Homeland Security, consider a wider campaign of interference in the 2020 election.

See other examples of pro-Kremlin disinformation about the US election in our database, such as claims that Joe Biden is preparing a coup, and his militants are setting the US on fire; that Biden refused to condemn street violence because he fears losing electoral weight; that the US is on the verge of a civil war and militias are only a reaction against governmental abuse; that the CIA is organising a colour revolution to oust Donald Trump after November 2020; or that the result of the election doesn’t matter because the real ruler is the Deep State.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 217
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 17/10/2020
  • Language/target audience: Spanish, Castilian
  • Country: US
  • Keywords: US Presidential Election 2020, Democratic Party (US), Manipulated elections/referendum, The Guardian

Disclaimer

Cases in the EUvsDisinfo database focus on messages in the international information space that are identified as providing a partial, distorted, or false depiction of reality and spread key pro-Kremlin messages. This does not necessarily imply, however, that a given outlet is linked to the Kremlin or editorially pro-Kremlin, or that it has intentionally sought to disinform. EUvsDisinfo publications do not represent an official EU position, as the information and opinions expressed are based on media reporting and analysis of the East Stratcom Task Force.

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The US aims to take Russia out of the post-Soviet space following a RAND corporation plan

Those who believe that the latest events in Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Nagorno-Karabakh and possibly upcoming tensions in Moldova are the mere result of popular discontent and infighting among clans and elites or among regions are wrong. It is all due to a ruthless geopolitical, geoeconomic, ideological and informative struggle carefully planned since long ago by US strategists and set in motion to liberate the post-Soviet space from Russia’s influence. For Washington and its unconditional satellite Brussels, creating around Russia as much instability focus, tension and local conflicts as possible, would lead its government to despair in its impossible attempt to fill all the holes, and to the weakening of Vladimir Putin’s government, which wouldn’t have time to support Syria, Venezuela, Iran and Libya.

More than one year ago, the think tank Rand Corporation published a report where it analyses Russia’s anxieties and vulnerabilities and advises on how to exploit them. According to Rand’s analysts “the US main task is to weaken, outbalance, overextend and take Russia out of the post-Soviet space”. Some of the points of the report have been implemented, such as destabilisation in Belarus, Nagorno-Karabakh, Kyrgyzstan and others. It is significant that two of its proposals, related to sanctions against Russian energy projects and the deployment of a “western information campaign” on the anti-corruption fight, are implemented in the media campaign related to the “poisoning” of Alexei Navalny. Another revealing chapter is devoted to “geopolitical measures” against Russian influence: given the recent events in the post-Soviet space, the same list of measures looks like a scenario that is implemented in front of our eyes.

Disproof

This is a deliberate misrepresentation of the content of the original report of the Rand Corporation, in order to support recurrent pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about Russia as the ultimate target of international events, the West as an aggressive evil power aiming to encircle Russia, popular protests as Western-led colour revolutions and the poisoning of Alexei Navalny as a set up framing Russia.

Though the report is openly oriented to “define areas where the United States can compete [with Russia] to its own advantage” in the framework of “great-power competition with Russia”, there is no evidence that it is related at all to events in Belarus, Nagorno-Karabakh, Kyrgyzstan or the Navalny case.

Imposing the wearing of masks is a crime against humanity and an abuse against children

Imposing the wearing of masks, allegedly to reduce contamination with Covid 19, is a crime against humanity and an abuse against children. Breathing our exhaled air will undoubtedly create an oxygen deficiency and an influx of carbon dioxide.

Disproof

It is a conspiracy theory promoted intensely since the beginning of the pandemic.

The Stopfals.md portal talked to several doctors in Moldova who have to wear masks all day, not only during the pandemic. These specialists deny the speculation that the mask would damage the brain or respiratory organs and urge people to follow the rules of protection.

EU has suffered more from the sanctions imposed on Russia

The EU suffered the most serious damage as a result of the exchange of sectoral sanctions and Russian counter-sanctions

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Western sanctions on Russia claiming that they have backfired. Since March 2014, the EU has progressively imposed restrictive measures against Russia with the latest ones applied in October 2020. The measures were adopted in response to the illegal annexation of Crimea,  the deliberate destabilisation of Ukraine and the poisoning of opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

According to research into the effect of sanctions, the cumulative export loss to Russia during 2014-2018 is estimated at EUR 30 billion (about -0.2% of EU’s GDP in 2018), incurred largely during 2014-2016, as EU exports to Russia recovered in 2017. While these sanctions do affect the EU's economy, the EU-wide impacts of the export losses are estimated at less than 0.2% of total value-added and employment.