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Sidney Powell lawsuit alleges vote problems in nonexistent county


  • A lawsuit in Michigan pushed by allies of President Donald Trump are seeking to fight what voters decided and declare him the winner of the state’s electoral votes.
  • To bolster its case, it includes an affidavit from Navid Keshavarz-Nia, a cybersecurity expert who alleges the election data indicates widespread fraud (extensive research and other experts refute such claims).
  • The affidavit says that President-elect Joe Biden won “more than 100% of the votes” in a county that doesn’t exist.
  • Keshavarz-Nia also said he hasn’t actually analyzed the voting machines used in the 2020 election.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

A witness in a lawsuit from allies of President Donald Trump trying to overturn democracy in Michigan said that the vote count in Edison County “are cause for concern and indicate fraud” because President-elect Joe Biden won “more than 100% of the votes.”

There’s just one problem: There is no Edison County in Michigan, the Detroit Free Press pointed out.

In fact, there is no Edison County in the entire United States of America.

The claim comes from Navid Keshavarz-Nia, who describes himself in the affidavit as a cybersecurity expert working at a defense contractor and has received training from several government agencies. The affidavit is included as an exhibit appended to a lawsuit filed last week by people working with Sidney Powell, a former member of the Trump campaign’s legal team.

Keshavarz-Nia’s nonsensical claim about Edison County drew widespread attention with a tweet from Jonathan Oosting, a reporter at the nonprofit news organization Bridge Michigan.

The typo-peppered lawsuit makes many of the same wildly conspiratorial arguments Powell made at a press conference that led to her ouster from Trump’s legal team: That the now-dead Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez used voting machines to manipulate election results in his own country, and the very same machines are now being used to manipulate 2020 election results. There’s no evidence of the claim, and the companies named in Powell’s lawsuits have debunked the arguments made in her lawsuits.

The witness says he hasn’t actually looked at the voting machines

In the affidavit, Keshavarz-Nia sais he has not analyzed any of the voting machines used in the 2020 election but argued there’s “evidence of fraud” based on his analysis of election data.

Much of that data is simply false or based on a misunderstanding of how election data is reported.

It’s not clear if Keshavarz-Nia had another county in mind when referring to a vote count of more than 100% in “Edison County,” but some internet sleuths have made claims about more than 100% of particular counties voting by relying on outdated voter record information or simply using the wrong datasets, USA Today and Reuters have reported.

In another part of the affidavit, Keshavarz-Nia writes that President Donald Trump’s lead in Pennsylvania dropped at a rate faster than votes can be counted. But the votes were simply reported by precincts in the timespan he indicates, not actually counted at that time.

sidney powell

Members of President Donald Trump’s legal team, Sidney Powell, right, with Jenna Ellis, left, attend a news conference at the Republican National Committee headquarters, Thursday Nov. 19, 2020, in Washington.

AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

Even though Keshavarz-Nia testified to not analyzing the machines used in the 2020 election, Powell’s lawsuit cites his affidavit to argue that “hundreds of thousands of votes that were cast for President Trump in the 2020 general election were transferred to former Vice-President Biden” — which is not true.

The lawsuit ultimately asks a federal judge to force Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to ignore voters and “transmit certified election results that state that President Donald Trump is the winner of the election.”

Michigan has already certified its election results, granting its 16 electoral votes to Biden. The Trump campaign itself withdrew a federal lawsuit trying to challenge the state’s election results, and three other lawsuits filed by Republican-aligned groups failed, with the judges overseeing the cases finding no evidence of fraud.

Keshavarz-Nia couldn’t be reached for comment, and Powell did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

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