One Year Since January 6

January 2022 4 min read

Looking Back on the 2020 Election, the Most Secure in U.S. History

It’s been over 425 days since the 2020 presidential election, the most secure, transparent, and verified election in U.S. history. And despite well-funded efforts to try to delegitimize the election, over a year later, nobody has produced—or been able to manufacture—any evidence that the outcome of the election was marred by fraud. The 2020 election was the greatest success story in the history of American democracy. In the middle of a global pandemic, election officials of both parties rose to the occasion and conducted the highest turnout election in history. Despite that success, American democracy is under unprecedented attack.

The 2020 Election Was…


The 2020 election was the most secure in U.S. history, according to experts, officials, and key organizations.

“There is no foreign power that is flipping votes. There’s no domestic actor flipping votes…. We did it right. This was a secure election.”—Chris Krebs, former director of DHS’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency. Krebs was fired by former President Trump.

“…[W]e have not seen fraud on a scale that could have effected a different outcome in the election.”—Attorney General Bill Barr told AP News on Dec. 1, 2020. Shortly after, on Dec. 15, he resigned.

“We did not find evidence of fraud that could have changed the outcome of the election.”—FBI Director Christopher Wray testified to Congress in June 2021. Former President Trump likely would have fired Wray, if the White House counsel’s office hadn’t warned against doing so.


In 2016, fewer than 80% of ballots were cast on auditable paper. In 2020, that number increased to 95%, including nearly all ballots cast in every presidential battleground state. Georgia, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia were among the states that transitioned to statewide use of ballots with a paper trail by 2020.


The rules for the election were set transparently months before the election, even when the pandemic required some accommodations for voter safety. Where campaigns disagreed with those rules, some were challenged (with wins and losses for both sides), while other rules were left unchallenged. In every case, both campaigns knew the rules well before the election, and the Rule of Law carried the day. Similarly, the losing candidate chose not to request a statewide recount in states he lost, though he had a legal right to ask for such a recount in states like Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.

Business Insider (Feb. 22, 2021): after the 2020 election, the losing candidate filed more than 40 lawsuits challenging the results. Over 80 judges—many appointed by former President Trump—reviewed the evidence and unanimously found that the former president lost. NBC News (Nov. 18, 2021): despite having the right and the resources to request a statewide audit in Wisconsin, former President Trump instead requested recounts in only two heavily Democratic areas. His goal was to invalidate absentee ballotsbased on rules and practices established well before the election.

More states than ever before (43 plus DC) conducted post-election tabulation audits. Two pivotal swing states—Georgia and Michigan—were among the states that began auditing in 2020.

Source: Election Assistance Commission

The 2020 election was one of the most scrutinized elections of all time. Even though the outcome was repeatedly confirmed under the law, several states have engaged in unnecessary and wasteful reviews of the election. All legitimate audits have pointed to one thing: a well-run election with no widespread fraud. Even the partisan reviews in states like ArizonaMichigan,Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, some of which continue more than a year after the election, have failed to find any problems that could have affected the outcome. In most cases, the legislators urging these partisan reviews were elected on the very same ballots about which they are raising doubts.

NY Times (Nov. 6, 2021): zero states reported suspected illegal voting sufficient to impact outcome AP News (Dec. 14, 2021): there were fewer than 475 potential cases of voter fraud in the six battleground states disputed by former President Trump
Wisconsin: the main partisan review continues despite recent reports from the conservative Wisconsin Institute for Law & Library and the state’s Legislative Audit Bureau finding no fraud

The Takeaway? Everyone Should Trust the Outcome of the 2020 Election

The Consequences of Election Denial

The January 6 Insurrection
Those involved are responsible for more than 1,000 assaults on police Over 725 insurrectionists have been arrested and charged as of Dec. 30, 2021
Threats & Harassment Toward Election Officials

Despite successfully administering a transparent and verified election (with record turnout in the middle of a pandemic), election officials of both parties, across the nation, have received hundreds—if not thousands—of threats to themselves, their staff, and their families. Before 2020, such actions were virtually nonexistent. These threats are so pervasive that CEIR partnered with Bob Bauer and Ben Ginsberg to form the Election Official Legal Defense Network, to ensure that election workers can receive pro bono advice and legal protection from licensed attorneys.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (Dec. 10, 2021): Bob Bauer and Ben Ginsberg speak out against the latest high-profile case of intimidation, this time in Wisconsin. Reuters (Sept. 8, 2021): journalists uncovered more than 100 threats to election workers and officials, but only four arrests and no convictions.
Seeing Conspiracies & Assuming the Worst

A recent CEIR poll showed a majority of GOP and Trump voters continue to believe both voter and election fraud were a problem in 2020 and will continue to be a problem in 2022.

Harmful & Unnecessary New Laws

Despite the success of 2020 and zero evidence of malfeasance, several state legislatures are succumbing to the Big Lie, passing laws that increase the chance for confusion, corruption, and chaos in the casting, counting, and certification of votes, and criminalizing the conduct of professional election administrators.

Florida: election officials now can be fined up to $25,000 for violating rules pertaining to ballot drop boxes Texaspartisan poll watchers have been empowered, and it is now a felony for election officials to mail out unsolicited applications to vote by mail
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