When 2 + 2 = 6

Douglas Frank

Two plus two equals six in Douglas Frank’s election conspiracy math.

Most of us don’t try to follow Einstein’s reasoning behind his general and special relativity theories, or work through his calculations. We take his word for it, based on his reputation and the support of other reputable scientists and mathematicians.

In other words, consider the source.

Frank was a math teacher in Ohio before he became a paid traveling “stolen election” conspiracy theory promoter. The guy writing his paychecks is Mike Lindell, a notorious Trump pal who promotes election conspiracy theories, produces no evidence to back them up, and was among the Trump confidantes who urged a military coup.

Frank tells his rapt rightwing audiences, “Just about every county in the country was hacked,” which is what Lindell wants him to say and they want to hear. In a CNN interview, Frank insisted, “I know the elections are being manipulated.” One of his punchlines is, “America was stolen by an Excel spreadsheet.” He claims a math equation he worked out proves it. (Read story here.)

In essence, he claims “they” are inflating registration rolls, stuffing phantom ballots, then “cleaning it up afterwards,” somehow eluding all the security, safeguards, and professional election workers without setting off any alarms or raising any red flags.

Before we go further, let’s check what Frank knows about election process. He believes Trump can be reinstated in office, and urges listeners, “Let’s do a do-over or let’s put Trump back in office.” That proves he knows nothing about elections. Once an election is certified, it’s final, and even if it was ripped off there’s no recourse. Certification is the last train station on the line.

Moreover, in our system, there’s no such thing as do-overs, nor any legal authority or process for reinstating losers who were robbed. But that said, the 2020 election wasn’t ripped off, and claims that it were are empty hot air. This was fully litigated in some 90 courts, and all those judges, every last one, including some Trump appointed, dismissed all those claims brought before courts for lack of evidence.

Now let’s go back to the math aspects of Frank’s assertions. I haven’t worked through his equations and calculations, but Stanford professor Justin Grimmer and his research group has, and Grimmer says Frank’s methodology breaks down voter registration rolls into age groups, and what Frank came up with is that age groups with more people have more voters. Put another way, where you have more senior citizens, you have more age 65+ voters — which Frank “interprets as fraud.” How stupid is that?

John Merrill, Alabama’s secretary of state, is a Republican. He has no apparent reason to be a party to Democratic election fraud. Lindell and Frank presented him with addresses they claimed were “stocked with phantom voters.” This was based on nothing more than the fact the registration rolls showed multiple voters living at the same address. Why? Because they were apartment houses and assisted living facilities, a fact that either flew over Lindell’s and Frank’s tinfoil-encased heads or they dishonestly chose to ignore.

(Trump won Alabama’s electoral votes, so what were they trying to prove? That he stole the state?)

Lindell, the guy paying Frank to do this, is a proven liar. (He’s also an ex-felon.) Frank hasn’t proved anything except that where there are more people, there are more voters. Neither of them has provided a scrap of evidence that election systems were hacked into, voter rolls were tampered with, or phantom voters case ballots, because none of that happened. If it had, somebody would have noticed. Frank is trying to “prove” this with a math formula. Election professionals proved the ballots were real by validating and counting them by the normal careful procedures required by law. And those procedures work.

Look, this guy is a paid entertainer. What he’s selling is packaged amusement. This is what he does for a living. He’s polished his act and become good at enthralling his audiences. I’d buy a ticket to hear what he has to say about UFO kidnappings. That could be genuinely fascinating. But I’ll bet he doesn’t understand relativity.

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