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Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

GOP lawyer Ben Ginsburg, who practiced election law for 38 years and co-chaired the bipartisan 2013 Presidential Commission on Election Administration, wrote in a Washington Post op-ed on Wednesday that "after decades of looking for illegal voting, there’s no proof of widespread fraud."

The big picture: Trump has argued with little evidence that mail-in voting is susceptible to fraud, claiming that the only way he will lose the 2020 election is if it's "rigged." Ginsburg wrote that the "lack of evidence renders these claims unsustainable."

  • The president drew backlash last week for calling on voters who are concerned about their ballots being counted to vote twice — once in mail and once in person.
  • State officials warned that doing so would constitute a felony.

What they're saying: "Legions of Republican lawyers have searched in vain over four decades for fraudulent double voting. At long last, they have a blatant example of a major politician urging his supporters to illegally vote twice," Ginsburg wrote.

  • "The president’s actions — urging his followers to commit an illegal act and seeking to undermine confidence in the credibility of election results — are doubly wrong."
  • "The president’s words make his and the Republican Party’s rhetoric look less like sincere concern — and more like transactional hypocrisy designed to provide an electoral advantage."

Ginsburg continues: "Each Election Day since 1984, I’ve been in precincts looking for voting violations, or in Washington helping run the nationwide GOP Election Day operations, overseeing the thousands of Republican lawyers and operatives each election on alert for voting fraud."

  • "In every election, Republicans have been in polling places and vote tabulation centers. Republican lawyers in every state have been able to examine mail-in/absentee ballot programs."
  • "Republicans need to take a hard look before advocating laws that actually do limit the franchise of otherwise qualified voters. Calling elections “fraudulent” and results “rigged” with almost nonexistent evidence is antithetical to being the “rule of law” party."

His bottom line: "The president’s rhetoric has put my party in the position of a firefighter who deliberately sets fires to look like a hero putting them out."

Read the full op-ed.

Go deeper

Rep. Paul Mitchell says he's leaving the GOP

Rep. Paul Mitchell in D.C. in 2018. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

Rep. Paul Mitchell, who is retiring at the end of this Congress, is leaving the Republican Party due to President Trump's efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election.

The big picture: Mitchell was one of roughly two dozen GOP representatives who broke ranks with Trump to acknowledge President-elect Biden's win.

Georgia's early voting starts with heavy turnout

Voters wait in line to vote at the Buckhead Library in Atlanta on the first day of in-person early voting for the Georgia Senate runoff election. Photo: Jason Armond/Getty Images

Georgia's on an early path to a huge turnout in the two runoffs to decide control of the U.S. Senate, according to data from the Georgia Secretary of State's Office crunched by Axios.

By the numbers: Voters cast 482,000 ballots in roughly the first day and a half of early voting this week. That’s equivalent to one-third of the total in the last statewide general election runoff, held in 2018, and about one-fourth of the total ballots in the last Senate runoff, held in 2008.

Voting machine company Smartmatic demands retraction from conservative news outlets

Photo: RONALDO SCHEMIDT/AFP via Getty Images

Electronic voting system company Smartmatic said on Monday it is demanding retractions from Fox News, Newsmax, and One America News for making "false and defamatory statements" about the company surrounding the presidential election.

The big picture: The company issued legal notices to the three networks, which have all amplified baseless claims by President Trump and his allies that the election was rigged. Smartmatic CEO Antonio Mugica said the claims are part of "an effort to depress confidence in future elections and potentially counter the will of the voters."