Commentary: Protecting the sanctity of our elections

(This opinion article originally appeared in The County Press. It was written before the Jan. 6 House and Senate votes to certify the Electoral College results and the violence that erupted at the U.S. Capitol.)

By Al Widner

We are now more than 60 days past the Nov. 3, 2020, presidential election and Donald Trump still refuses to concede and is still uttering baseless allegations of election fraud that have been amplified by allies and conservative media outlets.  He continues to make these specious claims, yet has failed to provide any credible evidence of voter fraud. 

Trump and his supporters have now lost 60 court cases in state and federal courts as well as in the Supreme Court! Trump’s own attorney general, Bill Barr, has publicly announced that after a Department of Justice investigation they found no evidence of voter fraud. Christopher Krebs, the director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, indicated that the 2020 presidential election was the most secure presidential election in our nation’s history. Trump immediately retaliated by firing Mr. Krebs.  

Joe Biden won the popular vote by over seven million votes and earned 306 electoral votes, well above the 270 electoral votes required. Ironically, the electoral vote margin was exactly the same as Trump’s margin in the 2016 election, which he described as an “historic landslide.” Trump lost the popular vote in the 2016 election by over 3 million votes.   

The 2020 popular vote results have been counted, recounted, and recounts of the recounts, audited and verified by all 50 states. Mitch McConnell, the Republican majority leader in the Senate, has recognized Joe Biden as the winner. All 50 states and Washington D.C. certified their popular votes on Dec. 8 and appointed electors for the Electoral College. On Dec. 14, the Electoral College electors verified 306 electoral votes for Joe Biden and 232 for Donald Trump.

In spite of all the court rulings denying Trump’s baseless allegations and Trump and his allies’ failure to produce any evidence of fraud, Trump and several of his Republican supporters in the House and Senate have committed to reject the Electoral College results when they are officially reported to Congress on Jan. 6. One hundred and forty Republican members of the U.S. House (including our local representative, Tim Walberg) and approximately 11 members of the U.S. Senate have publicly indicated they will reject the official Elector College results. 

Even more outlandish is Trump’s conversation with Republican supporters about the legality of declaring martial law and simply declaring Trump the winner. Michael Flynn, Trump’s former national security advisor, along with Amanda Chase, a Virginia state senator, and Sidney Powell, Trump’s election attorney, publicly promoted, embraced and encouraged Trump to declare martial law.

I find all this political posturing by Trump and his Republican co-conspirators extremely disturbing, un-American, and an affront to our democracy.  All those perpetrating this political hypocrisy and assault on our democracy should be voted out of office in the next election! The American public deserves better than this, and they must demand it by voting out those willing to support such a ridiculous charade.

Location PO Box 2000, Jackson, MI 49204-2000 Phone (517) 783-6247 E-mail Hours Paid for with regulated funds by the Jackson County Democratic Committee
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