Do you hear it? Do you see it? Of course, I’m referring to post-election violence, rioting and destruction. No, you don’t, and neither do I.
As one political commentator said on election-eve if they lose the election the Dems will riot, pillage and destroy. It will be live on national tv for all to see, except maybe on the fake-news channels. On the other hand, if the GOP were to lose the people would just “wake up the next day and go to work.” Hyperbole? Perhaps, just a little, but we have been witnessing such actions by the radical left all year.
In the days prior to Election Day we saw the images of businesses locking up and putting up plywood over their windows in anticipation of post-election rioting. What do you suppose that was for? Redecorating? When it appeared as if the Dems had won, all the plywood came down immediately. Coincidence? I think not.
Legally, the Trump campaign was perfectly within its rights to seek recounts in certain states. It does not make President Trump a “sore loser.” It does not signal that he “will not accept the outcome of the election” or “defy the will” of the electorate. It does not mean he will “refuse to leave” office. Those are just more absurdities promulgated by know-nothing, biased media commentators.
How about some facts to set the record straight. My research has disclosed the following with respect to recounts:
- Recounts are rare. According to NBC in the last 50 years or so there have been few recounts, and they have rarely succeeded.
- For example, between 2000 and 2015, of the nearly 4,700 statewide elections there have been 27 recounts.
- Would you care to guess how many of them have actually succeeded in flipping the results of the original election? The answer is three. That’s all – three. The last one was the Senate race in MN in 2008 when Dem Al Franken prevailed over GOPer Norm Coleman.
- There are two kinds of recounts – automatic and requested. Currently, 27 states have statutory procedures for an automatic recount. They are triggered if an election is close enough to warrant one. How close? It depends on the individual state. 43 states have statutory provisions for requested recounts. Again, they vary according to the state. Only two states – MS and TN – do not have any statutory provisions for a recount.
- In any event one can always make a recount request or dispute the outcome of an election through the judicial system. Typically, such requests are made through the applicable state court first, then the federal courts. Theoretically, they can proceed all the way to the Supreme Court, although that is very rare.
- With respect to current disputes, so far the Trump campaign has not met with much success. On the plus side, it has managed to gather hundreds of affidavits from individuals who have alleged to have witnessed irregularities and possible fraud. These have included computer glitches, duplicate ballots, late-arriving ballots, dead people voting, non-residents voting, and incomplete/inaccurate ballots being counted. On the other hand, so far its efforts have been rejected by various courts.
- In PA the state Supreme Court ruled to accept late arriving ballots due to the “vast disruption” and “unprecedented challenges” presented by the COVID pandemic. The court also noted that the votes in question were not sufficient in number to make up Trump’s deficit.
- In MI a judge rejected claims that the City of Detroit had committed fraud in its processing of absentee ballots.
- In AZ the campaign’s own lawyers withdrew their petition for a manual inspection of votes in the Phoenix area as it had become apparent that the number of votes in question were not sufficient to flip the state.
As I said, the Trump campaign is acting within its rights. Its critics are so intent on criticizing and demonizing Mr. Trump that they are missing the larger point. The paramount issue is the perceived integrity of the election, itself. Free, fair, and legitimate elections are the cornerstone of our republic. Every legal vote, and only legal votes, should be counted. The country cannot function otherwise.
Right now, nearly one-half of the country has suspicions that the election was “stolen” from Mr. Trump. We either need to satisfy those voters that it was not, or, if the facts dictate, declare Mr. Trump the true winner. I maintain that we all need to sit back, shut up, be patient, and let the legal matters play out. Regardless of the outcome, we should analyze how this election was conducted and use it as a learning tool for future elections.
Massive mail-in voting will likely become the new normal, prospectively. It is vital that we correct the weaknesses of this election so that they are not repeated. Some states, such as FL, handled the process really well. We should study those states’ procedures and adopt them universally. It has nothing to do with Dem or GOP, just fairness.
At the end of the process, whoever ends up the winner should be recognized as such by all. This will actually be to his benefit. The ultimate winner, whomever it may be, cannot lead effectively as long as half the country thinks his presidency is illegitimate.