Is Dominion right to sue over election fraud claims?


Fact Box

  • On Tuesday, August 10, 2021, Dominion Voting Systems filed billion-dollar lawsuits against Newswax, One American New Network, and Patrick Byrne, former chief executive of Overstock, for “alleged spread of misinformation” during the 2020 election that resulted in damage to the company name, employees, and company costs. 
  • Conservative news sources like OAN claimed Dominion deleted 2.7 million votes for former President Donald Trump or switched them to President Joe Biden on November, 17, 2020. 
  • The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) released a statement on November 12, 2020, saying the November 3rd election was the “most secure” in American history. 
  • The US Census Bureau reported that the 2020 presidential election had the “highest voter turnout of the 21st century” with 155 million voters, which is 66.8 percent of citizens 18 and older. 
  • According to a 2017 study by the Brennan Center for Justice, the rate of voting fraud overall in the US is between 0.00004% and 0.0009%.

Andrew (Yes) 

According to the company, Dominion has suffered $1.6 billion in lost profits, company value, and damage to its reputation as a result of the repeated false claims by NewsMax and OAN. This is exactly what libel suits exist for, and the company is right to pursue financial damages from those who have publicly discredited it with false statements. While the pundits who have attacked the company may not care about them, Dominion's employees are real people who may lose out on wage increases, bonuses, and other benefits associated with working for a thriving company due to these substantial losses. Seeking financial restitution is the logical and just action for Dominion and its employees.

These lawsuits will further the true narrative of the 2020 election, which was marked as completely free and fair as well as the most secure election in history. By going under oath in a courtroom, the defendants will have the option to either tell the truth and let their followers hear from their own mouths that there was no election fraud or to purger themselves and face the consequences. Having to publicly face the facts will hopefully help to end the continuing conspiracy theories surrounding the election.

These lawsuits will help to promote integrity and honesty in journalism. By standing up to these extremist media outlets, Dominion states clearly that it is not OK for publishers to trumpet falsities simply because they fit into the narrative they prefer and will also show that there are consequences for this type of irresponsible behavior.

Bill (No)

Dominion's defamation lawsuit against Newsmax, One America News (OAN), and others are frivolous at best. It's more likely a marketing strategy by Dominion to keep its name in the news by defending its 'honor' against claims that it was involved in last year's election irregularities. The 2020 Presidential election was hotly contested, and the results are still very much in dispute with ongoing audits in key battleground states (Arizona and Georgia). It seems bold, risky, and premature for Dominion to take legal action while the election audits are not yet complete.

Aside from jumping the gun on its premise for launching its lawsuit (that it is was defamed by Newsmax and OAN), Dominion enjoys no protection from being criticized in the press—the First Amendment states the freedom of the press is not to be abridged. Moreover, the only criticism has been from far-right news sources—the vast majority of the mainstream media leans left, and has showered Dominion with favorable coverage. 

Dominion's claims that Newsmax and OAN have harmed it are dubious. Its own website touts its market-leading position and its unique technological advantages over its competitors; 'Dominion is the ONLY provider in the market with fully-flexible and scalable election technology that can be customized for any jurisdiction.' Moreover, it claimed a 30% market share for its business in 2019. Exxon Mobil, for perspective, has a 6.2% market share of motor fuel in the US. Dominion should be more concerned about audit findings like the following in Michigan: 'We conclude that the Dominion Voting System is intentionally and purposefully designed with inherent errors to create systemic fraud and influence election results.'

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