It's a movie about this conspiracy theory:
CLAIM: At least 2,000 “mules” were paid to illegally collect ballots and deliver them to drop boxes in key swing states ahead of the 2020 presidential election.
THE FACTS: True the Vote didn’t prove this. The finding is based on false assumptions about the precision of cellphone tracking data and the reasons that someone might drop off multiple ballots, according to experts.
"Ballot harvesting” is a pejorative term for dropping off completed ballots for people besides yourself. The practice is legal in several states but largely illegal in the states True the Vote focused on, with some exceptions for family, household members and people with disabilities.
True the Vote has said it found some 2,000 ballot harvesters by purchasing $2 million worth of anonymized cellphone geolocation data — the “pings” that track a person’s location based on app activity — in various swing counties across five states. Then, by drawing a virtual boundary around a county’s ballot drop boxes and various unnamed nonprofits, it identified cellphones that repeatedly went near both ahead of the 2020 election.
If a cellphone went near a drop box more than 10 times and a nonprofit more than five times from Oct. 1 to Election Day, True the Vote assumed its owner was a “mule” — its name for someone engaged in an illegal ballot collection scheme in cahoots with a nonprofit.
CLAIM: In Philadelphia alone, True the Vote identified 1,155 “mules” who illegally collected and dropped off ballots for money.
THE FACTS: No, it didn’t. The group hasn’t offered any evidence of any sort of paid ballot harvesting scheme in Philadelphia. And True the Vote did not get surveillance footage of drop boxes in Philadelphia, so the group based this claim solely on cellphone location data, its researcher Gregg Phillips said in March in testimony to Pennsylvania state senators.
CLAIM: Some of the “mules” True the Vote identified in Georgia were also geolocated at violent antifa riots in Atlanta in the summer of 2020, showing they were violent far left actors.
THE FACTS: Setting aside the fact that the film doesn't prove these individuals were collecting ballots at all, it also can't prove their political affiliations.
The anonymized data True the Vote tracked doesn't explain why someone might have been present at a protest demanding justice for Black deaths at the hands of police officers. The individuals who were tracked there could have been violent rioters, but they also could have been peaceful protesters, police or firefighters responding to the protests, or business owners in the area.
CLAIM: Alleged ballot harvesters were captured on surveillance video wearing gloves because they didn’t want to leave their fingerprints on the ballots.
THE FACTS: This is pure speculation. It ignores far more likely reasons for glove-wearing in the fall and winter of 2020 — cold weather or COVID-19.
True the Vote's researcher claimed in the movie that voters in Georgia started wearing gloves to prevent their fingerprints from touching ballot envelopes after two women in Yuma, Arizona, were indicted on Dec. 23, 2020 for alleged ballot harvesting in that state’s primary election. But the Arizona indictment didn’t mention anything about fingerprints.
CLAIM: If it weren't for this ballot collection scheme, former President Donald Trump would have had enough votes to win the 2020 election.
THE FACTS: This alleged scheme has not been proven, nor do these researchers have any way of knowing whether any ballots that were collected contained votes for Trump or for Biden.
There's no evidence a massive ballot harvesting scheme dumped a large amount of votes for one candidate into drop boxes, and if there were, it would likely be caught quickly, according to Derek Muller, a law professor at the University of Iowa
“Once you get just a few people involved, people start to reveal the scheme because it unravels pretty quickly," he said.
Absentee ballots are also verified by signature and tracked closely, often with an option for voters themselves to see where their ballot is at any given time. That process safeguards against anyone who tries to illegally cast extra ballots, according to Barry Burden, a University of Wisconsin-Madison political science professor and the director of the Elections Research Project.
“It seems impossible in that system for a nefarious actor to dump lots of ballots that were never requested by voters and were never issued by election officials,” Burden said.