Threshold Identification of Ballots: Meaning of Trump Tweet Debated

threshold identification of ballots

Getty What is the threshold identification of ballots?

President Donald Trump announced on Twitter that the “threshold identification of Ballots is turning out to be even bigger than originally anticipated. A very large number of Ballots are impacted. Stay tuned!”

The problem is that the comment left the Internet confused, as people struggled to figure out what “threshhold identification of ballots” is. Here’s the president’s tweet:

We wrote to Trump’s campaign to ask what he meant and will let you know if they provide an answer.

Some people think that Trump means that he thinks the threshold by which states or counties are accepting mail-in ballots is too low (whether ballots are being counted, for example, with missing voter or witness signatures or addresses). But it’s anyone’s guess because the president didn’t explain it. Others think he’s claiming they’ve identified more ballots than average that are invalid.

It’s possible he’s referring to the normal threshold. What does that mean? “The percentage of invalid votes varies between types of elections (such as presidential or parliamentary), the technology or logistics involved in the voting system (for example electronic voting or paper ballots), as well as the consistency and adherence to instructions for what is to be counted as invalid votes among polling station staff,” the Electoral Knowledge Network explains.

Very little comes up under the term on Google.

The networks have called the election for former Vice President Joe Biden, but Trump refuses to concede, and instead has pushed out a series of fraud claims without, yet, offering concrete evidence.

Here’s what you need to know:


People Theorized Online What ‘Threshold Identification of Ballots’ Means

People offered their own theories online about what Trump meant. “I’ve heard of identification threshold in relation to drugs…I think it’s like the ‘acceptable’ level of impurities found?” one woman wrote. “I guess he means there’s much more fraud than the minuscule amount found/expected in any given election, but I’m not sure. Plus obv it’s still wrong 😂.”

“What the hell does this even mean? The threshold identification of Ballots?” wrote a woman.

“Question for the group: what is a threshold identification? Is he talking about the allowable variance in signatures?” wrote one man.

“Threshold Identification means that mail-in ballots didn’t have proper witnessing for signatures. Invalid ballots :-) High % of failed Threshold ID, mean ballots being thrown out! Removed from Counts,” wrote another.

An entire thread sprouted up on Reddit to try to figure out the meaning of the phrase. “What is the threshold identification of ballots?” a Reddit user asked.

Another answered, “That someone has to witness the signature or something. Sounds like they are targeting all mail in ballots.”

A second Reddit user theorized, “He’s going the route of ‘since nobody witnessed a person handing this ballot in, and nobody checked their id….then, all mail-in in ballots must have been illegally cast.’ Count the in-person votes, throw out the mail in votes, and declare me the victor.”

Another person wrote on Twitter, “Did a brief search and it seems that ‘the threshold identification of ballots’ is a phrase that, uh, doesn’t mean anything?”


Trump Tweeted Several Other Comments About the Election

The president did tweet a string of other claims about the election after the threshold identification one:

“Georgia will be a big presidential win, as it was the night of the Election!”

“Pennsylvania prevented us from watching much of the Ballot count. Unthinkable and illegal in this country.”

“Wisconsin is looking very good. Needs a little time statutorily. Will happen soon! @Reince @SeanDuffyWI”

“Nevada is turning out to be a cesspool of Fake Votes. @mschlapp & @AdamLaxalt are finding things that, when released, will be absolutely shocking!”

Twitter immediately slapped advisories on several of the tweets, advising people that the information in them was disputed.

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