Congratulations to all of you with “Donald Trump retweets Canada’s elections authority” on your 2020 BINGO cards.
The United States president took to the social media app Tuesday to reshare bizarrely a post from Elections Canada regarding Canada’s use of paper ballots in elections.
Ironically, the elections authority was trying to debunk the very conspiracy theories around voting that Trump has been championing for weeks.
In the original tweet, Elections Canada was debunking online conspiracy theories that suggest electronic ballot-counting measures have led to fraud in Canadian elections.
“Elections Canada does not use Dominion Voting Systems,” the post read. “We use paper ballots counted by hand in front of scrutineers and have never used voting machines or electronic tabulators to count votes in our 100-year history.”
Recent conspiracy theories online have suggested that vote-counting machines were used to “rig” Canadian federal elections in favour of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. In replies to the original tweet, the authority noted the intent was to debunk the false rumours about voting in Canada.
“Our message on Twitter was intended to respond to the large number of questions we had received from people who mistakenly believed we use automated tabulating systems in federal elections,” an official from Elections Canada told HuffPost Canada. “It shouldn’t be construed as anything other than that.”
That didn’t seem to stop the U.S. president from trying to co-opt the innocent Canadian fact-check for his own gain.
Trump is currently reeling after a definitive election loss to U.S. president-elect Joe Biden two weeks ago. The current president has refused to concede, alleging that the election was rigged against him and is currently waging legal challenges in several states. There has been no substantive proof of any election fraud regarding the 2020 presidential election or evidence that the legal challenges will have any significant impact.
Trump’s latest tirade took aim at Dominion Voting Systems machines, which have been used for several U.S. presidential elections. Trump’s claims that the machines deleted votes have been debunked.
That being said, Canadians had plenty to say about being roped into Trump’s nonsense.
According to multiple polls, Canadians overwhelmingly favoured Biden over Trump in the recent election. A Nov. 1 Ipsos poll suggested that seven out of 10 Canadians believe Biden in the White House would be better for Canada.
Many Twitter users were quick to point out Elections Canada’s original good intentions and the fact that Trump’s retweet doesn’t even make sense, including CNN’s fact-checker Daniel Dale.
As many crossovers between U.S. and Canadian politics have done in the past, the retweet made “move to Canada” trend again Tuesday afternoon. But in a new twist, this time it was some Americans suggesting that Trump move to Canada if he likes our electoral system so much.
The message from many Canadians on that idea was loud and clear.
Sorry, but no thank you.
With files from Zi-Ann Lum.
UPDATE: This story has been updated with comment from Elections Canada.