I warned last week in an article entitled No Peaceful Outcome? that there might be attempts upon this presidential election to create confusion and perpetuate various forms of election fraud. We now sit a week after the official election with a media declaration of a Biden win. But there are ominous clouds hanging over this election, and the Trump campaign is not about to concede. Anecdotal evidence of fraud is being broadcast by Trump and his surrogates. Whether actual physical evidence can be brought remains to be seen, but the legal battles have begun. There is a larger agenda in play, however, and that agenda seeks to divide Americans along partisan lines. We should not let that happen.
The election trends are curious to be sure. At the end of Tuesday night, Trump appeared to be leading in a number of important swing states. He was up over ten points in Michigan and six points in Wisconsin for example, much to the surprise of the media and professional poll watchers. When we awoke Wednesday, we saw Biden suddenly caught up or ahead in many of these states. As the campaign went on into the weekend, Biden overtook Trump in nearly every swing state, with some unusual numerical and procedural anomalies along the way. Statistical analysis shows Trump doubled his votes among Hispanics, tripled his support among black voters, and strengthened his position with women voters, yet somehow still lost. Trump dominated in the in-person votes in key swing states but lost big in mail-in voting.
The specter of election fraud cannot be ignored. It has happened before; it will happen again. Nevertheless, any allegations of misdoing must be approached in an impartial manner. If true, it would constitute a threat to all of us and the integrity of our election system. If evidence can be brought, Trump’s campaign is entitled to independent examination, audit, recount, and scrutiny of records where impropriety can be shown. It should be remembered for those who declare “count every vote” that there is a distinction to be made. All votes do not count. Only all legal votes actually count. If state election laws are not strictly followed along these lines, we have election anarchy.
Most of the media will attempt to bifurcate this along party lines. Since reporting has become decidedly partisan it will encourage Trump and Biden sympathizers to dig in, declaring, “My candidate is the winner, yours is illegitimate”. This will create unnecessary and frantic emotion around the candidates and the election, spurring divisive and harmful reactions. We must resist the temptation to square off against one another. This weakens confidence in the legitimacy of our governance, a drain on the strength of our nation. Do we have enough unity remaining to see our way through this?
People on both sides of the issue should be asking the larger questions. How is it possible for our election system to become compromised? What are the consequences to us all if such allegations prove true? Should we not all want to ensure our candidate is the legitimate winner (or loser)? How would we prevent this in future elections? I believe if investigations are conducted and the results do not change, a peaceful transition will occur. However, if Trump’s campaign can show real evidence of widespread election tampering, we have to be prepared to answer these tougher questions together, and demand reform.
Trump’s claims will see a day in court, and it is his right to have it. We need to unite as a nation and demand that a fair and impartial assessment be conducted, for everyone’s sake. Votes and procedures should be examined and any fraud in the system removed, let the results fall where they may. Any unsubstantiated allegations should be permanently put to rest. One problem is finding enough non-partisan actors who can fairly adjudicate such a process.
If we cannot agree to the assurances of an impartial process we will remain in a state of mutual hostility, clinging to our candidates as a form of justification. If we take such an approach, we are one step closer to being irreconcilably divided and eventually losing the soul of our nation. We must keep in mind that a large percentage of American voters believe their candidate got a raw deal, justified or not. But, it is one thing to allege fraud, yet another to prove it. We should all be united in our concern around guaranteeing the integrity of our elections, that our voices may accurately be heard.