CAMDEN — Nearly every one of the approximately 40 people who turned out Tuesday night, July 19, to watch a movie — that claims massive voter fraud led to the 2020 presidential election being stolen from Donald Trump — said they believe the election was stolen.

The Knox County Republicans held a screening July 19 in a commercial building in Camden owned by Michael Mullins of the movie “2000 Mules.”

The nearly 90-minute movie was directed by conservative commentator Dinesh D’Souza. In 2014, D’Souza pleaded guilty to allegations he made illegal contributions to a U.S. Senate campaign and was sentenced to five years’ probation for committing campaign finance fraud. Trump gave D’Souza a presidential pardon in 2018.

After the movie, Knox County Republican Committee Chair Victoria Bucklin asked the people in attendance whether they believe the election was stolen and nearly every hand was raised.

One of the people in attendance was Roger Tranfaglia of Rockland who is seeking the Maine House District 42 seat now held by Democratic Rep. Valli Geiger. The seat represents Rockland and part of Owls Head in the Legislature.

Emails were sent Sunday, July 17, to each Republican legislative candidate in Knox County asking if they believe in the claim the 2020 election was stolen from Trump. None have responded as of Wednesday morning, July 20.

The false claim of widespread election fraud led to the “Stop the Steal” rally on Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington, D.C. in which many of the Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol an attempt to stop the count of electoral votes that gave the presidency to Democrat Joseph Biden.

Bucklin talked about the people being held in jail since the Jan. 6 protest, saying they have been deprived of their basic human rights.

One woman said she knew a poll watcher in Rockland who, she said, witnessed unspecified irregularities but no one listened to her.

Other people complained the movie had to be shown in the commercial building and there should be an effort to have it shown at the Strand Theatre in Rockland so more people would “know the truth.”

D’Souza features in the movie an organization named True The Vote. True The Vote said it used cell phone location tracking data to track the movements of people in key swing states around the time of the 2020 election. The movie claims this location-tracking data show thousands of people making suspiciously large numbers of stops at mail-in vote dropboxes in the 2020 election. The movie alleges those individuals, the “mules,” were making multiple stops because they were stuffing the dropboxes with stacks of completed ballots.

An analysis of the movie by the news service Reuters stated the entirety of the claim rests on cell phone location data, which doesn’t remotely show people were actually using the drop boxes as opposed to just walking or even driving by those boxes.

Reuters also found drop boxes tend to be in high-traffic areas such as public libraries, shopping malls, municipal buildings, or schools. For example, a map of drop boxes in the five metro Atlanta counties of Fulton, DeKalb, Cobb, Gwinnett and Clayton shows all are clustered in busy locations likely to have high cell phone activity.

Reuters also focused on a scene in the movie showing a woman wearing a face mask and gloves depositing a ballot before turning to place her gloves in a nearby bin. It is claimed in the documentary she is a “mule” because she was wearing gloves (to supposedly hide her fingerprints) and did not look at the bin, so must have had prior knowledge of it being there. The documentary makers did not appear to consider the possibility the woman was wearing gloves, along with her face mask, as a personal protective measure against COVID-19, Reuters stated.

One man at the movie showing in Camden claimed in all the legal challenges to the 2020 election, none of the courts based their rulings on evidence.

As reported by Reuters, state and federal judges — some appointed by Trump — dismissed more than 50 lawsuits brought by Trump or his allies alleging election fraud and other irregularities.

According to the Washington Post instead of alleging “widespread fraud or election-changing conspiracy” the lawsuits pushed by Trump’s team and allies focused on smaller complaints, which were largely dismissed by judges due to a lack of evidence. Courts ruled the Republicans did not provide evidence to back up their assertions — just speculation, rumors or hearsay.

On Nov 27, 2020, the Post pointed out a federal appeals court rejected a Trump campaign proposal to block Biden from being declared the winner of Pennsylvania. At the time, Judge Stephanos Bibas, on behalf of the three-judge panel wrote: “Free, fair elections are the lifeblood of our democracy. Charges of unfairness are serious. But calling an election unfair does not make it so.” It added: “Charges require specific allegations and then proof. We have neither here.”

On Dec. 1, then-Attorney General William Barr said the Justice Department found no evidence of widespread voter fraud in the election, even as President Trump kept up his legal efforts to reverse his defeat. Two weeks later, Barr announced his resignation from the Trump administration.

The newspaper also asked some of the people in attendance, as they were entering the building where the movie was held, whether they have watched the Congressional hearings on the Jan. 6 insurrection and each said they had not.

Mullins spoke to the gathering and said whether the claims are Russian influence in the 2016 election or the allegations made about the 2020 election, the issues should be investigated so the public can trust election outcomes.