Conservative filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza responded Friday to a fact-check of his documentary “2,000 Mules” in which Politifact accused him of basing the movie on a faulty premise.
A “mule” is a term used in the movie for those who were allegedly paid to repeatedly pick up batches of ballots and place them in drop boxes.
The central premise of “2,000 Mules” is that an illegal ballot harvesting scheme took place in the key swing states of Arizona, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin.
These are all states that former President Donald Trump won in 2016 but flipped to Democrat President Joe Biden in 2020.
The voter integrity group True the Vote worked with D’Souza on “2,000 Mules.”
In an article published Wednesday, Politifact stated, “A documentary by Dinesh D’Souza, a far-right commentator, furthers the myth that something sinister occurred with mail ballots during the 2020 election. D’Souza told Fox News that ‘mules’ delivered 400,000 illegal votes. Experts say the evidence D’Souza points to is inherently flawed.”
“D’Souza’s argument ignores that in many states, it is legal to drop off a ballot on behalf of another voter, which is especially helpful for voters with disabilities or the elderly. Critics of this practice call it ‘ballot harvesting,’ while election administrators typically use other terms such as ‘ballot collection,'” the fact-checker said.
D’Souza responded Friday, tweeting, “Paying mules to deliver ballots is illegal in every state.”
“In Georgia you can give your ballot to a family member or caregiver to drop off,” he continued.
“The mules are not family members or caregivers. Politifact is lying to cover up coordinated fraud by its own side in the 2020 election.”
Paying mules to deliver ballots is illegal in every state. In Georgia you can give your ballot to a family member or caregiver to drop off. The mules are not family members or caregivers. Politifact is lying to cover up coordinated fraud by its own side in the 2020 election pic.twitter.com/9k5vDc0UrR
— Dinesh D’Souza (@DineshDSouza) May 6, 2022
Of the five states examined in the film, none allow someone to get paid to pick up and deliver mail-in ballots, according to Ballotpedia.
Arizona only permits a family member, household member or caregiver to deliver a ballot. Similarly, Georgia only allows a family or household member.
Pennsylvania permits those who qualify for an emergency absentee ballot to authorize a representative in writing to return their ballot. Further, Michigan allows a household or family member to do so, or an election official when those options are not available.
Finally, a Wisconsin judge ruled in January that ballot harvesting is not permitted in the state, according to Wispolitics.com.
He cited state law, which says “the envelope [containing the ballot] shall be mailed by the elector, or delivered in person, to the municipal clerk issuing the ballot or ballots.”
Even California, which has among the most liberal rules regarding ballot harvesting, says the people designated by voters to deliver their ballots may not receive compensation based on the number of ballots returned.
Which is what True the Vote and D’Souza in “2,000 Mules” alleged happened in the five key swing states it examined.
True the Vote said it used cellphone geo-tracking data to identify people who went to 10 or more drop boxes and made five or more visits to non-governmental organizations working on voter turnout during the 2020 general election.
The threshold of 10 or more visits per mule is very high and is meant to eliminate any possibility the visits could have been happenstance.
To further guard against accidentally picking up people who happened to pass by drop box locations regularly, True the Vote bought cellphone data from September, October and November, showing before, during and after election season.
Only those whose cellphones placed them at drop boxes when voting was occurring were included in True the Vote’s data, the group said.
The mules followed a pattern of repeatedly going to drop box locations and back to the offices of non-governmental organizations, where ballots were allegedly collected. The movie called these locations “stash houses.”
“Pings don’t lie,” True the Vote president Catherine Engelbrecht told Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk in a recent interview.
In addition to cellphone data, True the Vote’s Gregg Phillips says in “2,000 Mules” that his group has 4 million minutes of surveillance footage from drop boxes it obtained through public records requests.
This is what stuffing the ballot box looks like pic.twitter.com/okpcKa9O4c
— Liz Harrington (@realLizUSA) April 11, 2022
Phillips interviewed an informant from Yuma County, Arizona, who detailed how mules would drop off ballots and come in for what she assumed were weekly payments during the election.
The average number of trips per mule in the county was 31, according to Engelbrecht.
The average in the five key swing states True the Vote tracked was 38 visits, with an average of five ballots per visit. “That’s 380,000 illegal votes,” D’Souza says in “2,000 Mules.”
These 380,000 votes, assuming at least a significant majority were for Biden, would have changed the outcome in Arizona, Georgia and Pennsylvania and thus the outcome of the 2020 general election, he further claims in the movie.
There will be a virtual premiere of “2,000 Mules’ on Saturday, May 7, at 8 p.m. Eastern Time.