We have now gone through the second presidential election in a row where a significant portion of voters believed the election was fraudulent. This has resulted in protests, violence and rioting and ultimately deaths in the 2020 election. Currently 39 percent (Reuters/psos polling) or approximately 60 million Republican, Democrat and Independent voters believe the 2020 election was rigged. That’s far higher than any recent elections. Nevertheless, the result is final, and Joe Biden won. Nothing is going to change that. But the distrust that remains will no doubt linger enough to impact the credibility of subsequent elections.

Because of the pandemic, this is the first national election with such a proliferation of mail-in ballots (46 percent). Many believe the high volume and extended deadlines made it much easier to falsify or tamper with. There are also a range of other fraud allegations regarding: dead people voting; illegals voting; people voting out of state; the software used; last minute changes to the rules; who had the authority to make those changes; and statistical anomalies that there were either not enough time or inability to get access to the data to fully analyze.

It is easy, but misleading to say that because the election was certified and no courts ruled in favor of the lawsuits therefore there was no convincing evidence and no fraud. However, most of the cases were dismissed for lack of standing and the evidence was never reviewed. Absence of evidence in not evidence of absence. While both parties are dug in, the integrity of our elections effects too many Americans to continue ignoring.

Now that the election and transition of power are over, ti seems the perfect time to investigate these claims. This could be accomplished by an impartial bipartisan review or audit by a reputable firm acceptable to both parties. We could put an end to these suspicions and confirm that the election was indeed honest, or if there were shenanigans, let’s expose them and figure out the remedy before the next election.

President Biden has made it his priority to unify the country both in his campaign and his inaugural speech. This would be an opportunity fo him to send a strong signal to the citizens and to both political parties that we cannot and will not put up with any election fraud or interference. We cannot allow the country to go through another election like this. The citizens of our country deserve an honest election and efforts to help ensure that going forward will help keep our democracy strong.

(1) comment

TMarine

Response to “Citizens Deserve an Honest Election” by J.S. Barker. - I am sure every American would agree with the claim in the title of Mr. Barker’s letter in the February 9 edition of the Coronado Eagle. But the truth is, we just had an honest election. And like much of the rhetoric we’ve heard these past three months, this article helps perpetuate a false narrative – that the 2020 election was somehow fraudulent. Chris Krebs, a lifelong Republican and Trump appointee, whose job it was to oversee the election, called it, “the most secure in American history.” How do we know this? For one thing, it was probably the most challenged election in US history. State Governors and Attorney Generals looked into it. Election boards looked into it. There were multiple recounts (Georgia had three). Trump and his allies filed 86 lawsuits and lost nearly all of them. The Supreme Court also rejected Trump’s appeals. It should be noted that these Attorney Generals, Governors, election officials, and judges, including the Supreme Court of the United States, are comprised of both Democrats and Republicans alike. There simply was no widespread voter fraud to be found, and claims to the contrary were lies.

Mr. Barker suggests that since many of the suits were dismissed for lack of standing, that we shouldn’t assume there was no evidence; “Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.”, he warns. Well, the converse is also true; just because cases were dismissed due to lack of standing does not mean that these cases had merit nor provided any evidence of voter fraud. Many respected attorneys across the US who examined the pleadings of these lawsuits agreed that they were garbage, as highlighted in a headline from the Harvard Crimson; “‘Frivolous’, ‘Insubstantial’, ‘Bad Faith’: Harvard Law Experts Weigh in on Trump Election Lawsuits.” Many of the judges who presided over these cases came to the same conclusion.

Mr. Barker expressed his concern about many of the oft-repeated allegations; mail-in ballots, dead people voting, illegals voting, residents voting out of state, software glitches, and “statistical anomalies” as potential avenues of fraud. Every one of these allegations has been debunked, a fact that can be easily verified by doing a simple google search. While it is true that every election has irregularities, that does not equate to widespread voter fraud. From 1948 to 2017 there were 938 convictions of voter fraud – that’s one case every four years. Casting an entire election in doubt because of some minor irregularities, or miniscule amounts of voter fraud would be a mistake.

Mr. Barker pointed to a Reuters/Ipsos poll and claimed that “60 million Republican, Democrat, and Independent voters believe the 2020 election was rigged.” As this was an internet poll of 1346 people, I don’t know that we can safely extrapolate it out to 60 million. But note this question from the same survey, “When asked who has rightfully won the election, 63% of Americans believe Joe Biden has, including 95% of Democrats, 29% of Republicans, and 60% of independents.” These data show that the majority of people who don’t believe Biden rightfully won are Republicans. And this is the crux of the issue. Conservative news outlets and Republican leaders, including Donald Trump, helped spread misinformation and baseless claims of election fraud, so these results are not surprising. Those of us living outside the right-wing echo chamber watched, in real time and over the course of many days, the detailed investigations and explanations of what was happening during the ballot counting process, as well as the filings and dismissals of all those lawsuits. It was covered in the news every single day, and in great detail, until Joe Biden was certified as the winner.

So no, we don’t need a bi-partisan audit to explain the obvious; Trump lost the election. Mitt Romney, one of the few Republicans left with any integrity, summed it up well when he scolded his fellow Senators, “Have an audit, they say, to satisfy the many people who believe that the election was stolen. Please! No Congressional led audit will ever convince those voters, particularly when the President will continue to claim that the election was stolen. The best way we can show respect for the voters who are upset is by telling them the truth…The truth is that President-elect Biden won this election. President Trump lost. Scores of courts, the President’s own Attorney General, and state election officials both Republican and Democrat have reached this unequivocal decision.”

Tony Marine

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