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Politics: Fact check: MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell spreads false claim about Arizona election results

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The claim: Donald Trump won Arizona by 270,000 votes

a man wearing a suit and tie: Twitter has permanently banned MyPillow founder Mike Lindell over “repeated violations” of its civic integrity policy. © Provided by USA TODAY Twitter has permanently banned MyPillow founder Mike Lindell over “repeated violations” of its civic integrity policy.

Former President Donald Trump didn't win Arizona in the 2020 election, but false claims that he did have persisted on social media for months. The latest iteration of the conspiracy theory comes from the CEO of a pillow company.

Ahead of an Aug. 11 "cyber symposium" in Sioux Falls, S.D., Mike Lindell promised data that would prove the election was stolen from Trump. But that data never came, and Josh Merritt, a "cyber expert" Lindell hired, told the Washington Times he'd seen no evidence to back up that claim.

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Still, voter fraud conspiracy theories from Lindell's symposium are making the rounds on Facebook.

"President Trump won Arizona by 270,000 votes!" reads an Aug. 10 post from a Trump fan page. "Cyber results are in."

The post accumulated more than 3,100 shares within two days. Similar claims have tens of thousands of interactions on Facebook, according to CrowdTangle, a social media insights tool.

Fact check: Arizona audit hasn't found 275,000 fraudulent votes

Those claims are wrong.

Certified election results, as well as several recounts, show President Joe Biden won Arizona. There is no evidence that widespread voter fraud affected that outcome.

USA TODAY reached out to Lindell and social media users who shared his claims for comment.

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No evidence of widespread fraud in Arizona

Biden won Arizona by more than 10,000 votes, according to Electoral College votes certified by Congress.

Several hand counts across the state have upheld that outcome, and local election officials have repeatedly debunked allegations of widespread fraud. In July, the Associated Press reported officials had found fewer than 200 cases of potential voter fraud in Arizona out of more than 3 million ballots cast.

And it's not just Arizona – officials from both parties at every level of government have repeatedly refuted claims of widespread voter fraud.

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency and its partners said the election was the "most secure in American history." Former Attorney General William Barr repeatedly dismissed claims of fraud. Dozens of lawsuits filed by Trump and his allies to overturn the election results failed.

Alabama official dismisses Lindell claim that 100K votes were flipped from Trump to Biden: 'It's not possible'

  Alabama official dismisses Lindell claim that 100K votes were flipped from Trump to Biden: 'It's not possible' Alabama's secretary of state is dismissing claims by MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell that 100,000 votes in November were flipped from then-President Trump to then-candidate Joe Biden, contending that such a situation is "not possible.""All our [voting] machines are custom-built. There's no modem component. You can't influence them through a cell phone or a landline. There's no way they can be probed or numbers manipulated," Secretary of State John"All our [voting] machines are custom-built. There's no modem component. You can't influence them through a cell phone or a landline. There's no way they can be probed or numbers manipulated," Secretary of State John Merrill told AL.com.

If Lindell had legitimate evidence to support his claims of voter fraud in Arizona, he had ample opportunity to present it at his symposium in South Dakota. But he didn't.

Fact check: No evidence of 8 million 'excess' Biden votes from 2020 election

“So our team said, 'We’re not going to say that this is legitimate if we don’t have confidence in the information,'” Merritt told the Washington Times.

Our rating: False

Based on our research, we rate FALSE the claim that Trump won Arizona by 270,000 votes. Biden won the state by more than 10,000 votes, as certified vote totals and several recounts show. Claims that widespread voter fraud affected that outcome have been repeatedly debunked.

Our fact-check sources:

  • Argus Leader, July 21, MyPillow founder Mike Lindell wants 'cyber guys' to join him in Sioux Falls to vet election fraud claims
  • The Washington Times, Aug. 11, EXCLUSIVE: Cyber expert says his team can’t prove Mike Lindell’s claims that China hacked election
  • CrowdTangle, accessed Aug. 13
  • USA TODAY, Nov. 30, 2020 Arizona Election Results
  • National Archives, accessed Aug. 14, 2020 Electoral College Results
  • Arizona Secretary of State, accessed Aug. 14, 2020 General Election Hand Count Results
  • USA TODAY, July 23, Fact check: Arizona early votes falsely cited as evidence of voter fraud
  • USA TODAY, April 28, Fact check: No evidence election audit in Maricopa County has found widespread election fraud
  • USA TODAY, July 29, Fact check: Arizona audit hasn't found 275,000 fraudulent votes
  • Associated Press, July 16, AP: Few AZ voter fraud cases, discrediting Trump’s claims
  • Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency, Nov. 12, JOINT STATEMENT FROM ELECTIONS INFRASTRUCTURE GOVERNMENT COORDINATING COUNCIL & THE ELECTION INFRASTRUCTURE SECTOR COORDINATING EXECUTIVE COMMITTEES
  • USA TODAY, June 27, 'It's just a joke': Former AG William Barr derided Trump's false election claims
  • USA TODAY, Jan. 6, By the numbers: President Donald Trump's failed efforts to overturn the election

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Arizona election audit: Draft report confirms Biden defeated Trump in Maricopa County last November

  Arizona election audit: Draft report confirms Biden defeated Trump in Maricopa County last November The partisan review of Maricopa County's 2.1 million ballots cast in the 2020 election found a vote count nearly identical to what the county had previously reported, a draft report detailing its findings shows. © Courtney Pedroza/Getty Images Former Secretary of State Ken Bennett works to move ballots from the 2020 general election at Veterans Memorial Coliseum on May 1, 2021 in Phoenix, Arizona.

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Fact check: MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell spreads false claim about Arizona election results

MyPillow CEO flees pro-Trump event after losing bid to stop $1.2B suit .
MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell can be seen fleeing the stage at his 72-hour cyber symposium in South Dakota where he continues to peddle baseless theories that the election was rigged.Lindell is in Sioux Falls, South Dakota hosting a 72-hour marathon cyber symposium where he is attempting to prove his baseless election fraud claims.

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