The Trump campaign team couldn’t believe their luck.
A certain James Blalock had voted in the presidential election in Covington, Georgia, but he was deceased.
The President’s supporters tracked down an obituary confirming the World War II veteran, later a postman, had passed away aged 81 in 2006.
Tucker Carlson on Fox News seizes on reports of voting fraud. (Supplied)
This, the Trump War Room tweeted, was a clear sign of voter fraud, further evidence that the Democrats were stealing the presidency for Joe Biden.
There followed on the same Twitter feed a succession of obits of other dead people who had also voted.
One of them was Deborah Jean Christiansen, from Roswell, also in Georgia, who had died in May 2019, a birdwatcher and avid gardener, survived by her grieving husband of 39 years.
Tucker Carlson, of Fox News, seized on the cases, and listed them with a host of others, telling his viewers these were inspiring stories of “a triumph of voting over death”.
An obituary for a Deborah Jean Christiansen who died in 2019. (Supplied)
This was proof, he said, that voting by mail encouraged fraud and showed why the election was “fundamentally unfair”, the system “disorganised”. The failure by other media to report on these dead voters was proof of bias.
Just one problem, both these voters are alive and kicking.
It’s less common than it was in the 19th century, but in the US state of Georgia, it is still possible for a wife to assume the first name of their husband.
That is what Agnes Blalock did, when she registered to vote for the 2020 election in Covington, as James Blalock.
The 94-year-old told 11 Alive TV’s investigative reporter Brendan Keefe that she had done that to honour her late husband – “the best man I ever knew” – who passed back in 2006.
Deborah Jean Christiansen, who is still alive and voted in Georgia in the US Election. (Supplied)
And Deborah Jean Christiansen was also located, by CNN on Wednesday night. The retired mental health counsellor was born in the same year and month, but on a different day. And she lives in a different county in Georgia, Cobb, not Fulton.
She said she thought the information should have been checked more thoroughly, and she actually just felt sorry for the family of her namesake.
Carlson has since apologised for the errors, the Trump War Room has not.
On Tuesday, Donald Trump tweeted: “Dead people voted”.
In Pennsylvania, The Public Interest Legal Foundation alleges 21,000 supposedly dead residents were on the state’s voter rolls.
It’s one of dozens of lawsuits across the country, most attempting to block the certification of election results because of a variety of issues with mail and absentee ballots.
Associated Press reports there are 38 separate legal challenges in total, filed in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin – all states that the President lost. Trump’s team has filed 17 of them.
Rudy Giuliani, the former lawyer who became the Mayor of New York, has assumed leadership of the legal team, for $20,000 a day, reports the New York Times.
On Tuesday, he appeared in a federal courthouse for the first time in nearly 30 years, in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.
Tucker Carlson claimed evidence the 2020 US Election was ‘fundamentally unfair’. (Supplied)
AP called the 76-year-old “rusty”, reporting “he fiddled with his Twitter account and forgot which judge he was talking to”.
The lawyer seated opposite him, representing the county election boards, Mark Aronchick, told CNN it was “one of the strangest court appearances I’ve ever had”.
“We were there to deal with a complaint, that administrators had done things which they thought weren’t right. Nothing about fraud or conspiracies, but that’s what he spoke about. It bore no relationship to what we were actually doing in court,” he said.
It was a forerunner for Friday’s bizarre press conference which saw #GiulianiMeltdown trend on Twitter and headlines such as “Ghouliani” on the Drudge Report.
“I know crimes. I can smell them,” Giuliani said, while sweating profusely, what appeared to be streaks of hair dye running down the side of his face.
He claimed a huge fraud was being perpetrated by Democrats in big cities, argued that Venezuela could have hacked the results and quoted a line from the film “My Cousin Vinny” as he tried to illustrate how poll watchers were blocked from watching the counts.
US President Donald Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani sweated so much during a press conference on November 19 his hair dye started to run. (Jacquelyn Martin/AP Photo)
Few observers give Trump’s legal team any chance of reversing his loss. CNN’s Jake Tapper described the litigation as “longshot if not ludicrous”, Vanity Fair’s Eric Lutz called it “hopeless”.
Court filings have been littered with mistakes, misspelling “pole watcher” instead of “poll watcher”, many of the claims of foreign interference already debunked.
US cybersecurity chief Chris Krebs described the election as “the most secure ever” – a statement which got him the sack.
And it’s worth noting, Trump is not hiring the Republican party’s top election lawyers, who represented the party in the Florida recount battle 20 years ago.
President Donald Trump listens during an event on Operation Warp Speed in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington (AP)
Former White House chief of staff Mike Mulvaney told Fox Business: “I’m still a little concerned about the use of Rudy Giuliani… this is not reality TV, it’s the real thing.”
Teri Kanefield of the Washington Post writes that the country’s Democratic institutions are standing up to the “total incompetence of Trump’s legal team”.
“I’ve never seen an election lawyer handle a case as poorly as Giuliani has,” Rick Hasen, a law professor at the University of California, Irvine said.
“It’s kind of a fallacy to say, well, Trump might be doing better if he had better lawyers,” Hasen said. “Part of the reason he doesn’t have good lawyers is he doesn’t have good claims to bring.”