US election officials have rejected President Donald Trump’s fraud claims, saying the 2020 White House vote was the “most secure in American history”.
“There is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised,” a committee announced.
They spoke out after President Trump claimed without proof that 2.7 million votes for him had been “deleted”.
Donald Trump has yet to concede to the president-elect, Democrat Joe Biden.
The result of the November 3 election was projected by all the major US TV networks last weekend.
Joe Biden is now projected to have won Arizona, extending his lead by 11 electoral college votes to a total of 290, with Donald Trump on 217. It is the first time the state has voted Democrat since 1996.
President Trump has launched a flurry of legal challenges in key states and leveled unsubstantiated allegations of widespread electoral fraud.
Meanwhile, China has finally extended its congratulations to Joe Biden and his running mate Kamala Harris after days of silence.
“We respect the choice of the American people,” a Chinese foreign ministry spokesman said.
Russia has said it wants to wait for an “official result”.
The election committee’s announcement marks the most direct rebuttal from federal and state officials of President Trump’s unsubstantiated claims of election fraud.
The joint statement released on November 12 by Election Infrastructure Government Coordinating Council which is made up of senior officials from the Department of Homeland Security and the US Election Assistance Commission as well as state-level officials who oversee elections and representatives of the voting machine industry.
The group said: “The November 3rd election was the most secure in American history. Right now, across the country, election officials are reviewing and double checking the entire election process prior to finalizing the result.”
“While we know there are many unfounded claims and opportunities for misinformation about the process of our elections, we can assure you we have the utmost confidence in the security and integrity of our elections, and you should too,” it added, without naming President Trump directly.
“When you have questions, turn to elections officials as trusted voices as they administer elections.”
The statement was posted to the website of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), which is part of the Department of Homeland Security.
The head of CISA, Christopher Krebs, has reportedly incurred the White House’s displeasure over a CISA website called Rumor Control, which debunks election misinformation.
On November 12, Christopher Krebs shared a post by an election law expert that said: “Please don’t re-tweet wild and baseless claims about voting machines, even if they’re made by the president.”
CISA assistant director Bryan Ware stepped down on the same day. The White House had asked for his resignation earlier this week, Reuters reports. Christopher Krebs expects to be fired, the news agency says.
Hours before the statement was released, President Trump tweeted that voting software used in 28 states had deleted millions of votes for him, but presented no evidence for the stunning claim, which appeared to originate from the obscure TV network One America News and was flagged by Twitter.
The claim was linked to the miscounting of votes in one Republican-leaning Michigan county. Unofficial results initially favored Joe Biden but were later corrected in President Trump’s favor. State election officials acknowledged what had happened, saying human error was to blame, rather than a software malfunction.
Meanwhile, a small but growing number of Republicans are backing calls for the president-elect to be given daily intelligence briefings.
Senator Lindsey Graham, a key Trump ally, was among those saying Joe Biden should start receiving the secret presidential memo, as is usual with incoming presidents.
Republican Senators Chuck Grassley, John Cornyn and John Thune agreed, although House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said Joe Biden was “not president right now” and should wait.
Between 10 and 20 Republicans in Congress have now either congratulated Joe Biden or accepted there must be moves towards a transition. However, most have yet to acknowledge the president-elect’s win.
Joe Biden is 5.3 million votes ahead of Donald Trump – about 3.4%, and is well beyond the hurdle of 270 electoral college votes required to win the presidency.
President Trump has kept a low key public profile since the election. Reports suggest he has told friends he wants to start a digital media company to take on the conservative network Fox News, whose full support he now feels to be lacking.
According to CBS News, Donald Trump is also openly discussing a possible 2024 campaign to retake the presidency.