What do we do with the electoral process

Four years ago, November 8th,2016, Donald Trump was elected President of the United States by a majority of the citizens in a majority of the states. On November 9th,2016 The mainstream media and the Democratic National Committee began a full court press to reverse the results in some form or another. Most of the attacks on the legitimacy of the election centered around the belief that the Russian government had some how manipulated the American electorate to get Trump elected. We now know this to be a complete fabrication on the part of the DNC and the media and a less then unbiased FBI. Recent reporting shows that most of those agents who were in fact doing the investigation indicated early on that there was nothing to the allegations. Regardless, a well intrenched bureaucracy continued to push forward knowing the only outcome would be to weaken the administration.

Today we are faced with another disputed election. Unlike 2016 however, the fight is over election irregularities in several key states. To be honest there are likely irregularities in every election, so the question is do the irregularities we see on this election cycle substantially exceed the norm. In order to answer the question, we must first except the premise that there are in fact problems with every election. What is the history of miscounts and potential fraud? There are several times in recent history that fraud has been alleged in the US. This is not a Trump invention. Going back to the 2000 elections we can quote a research paper from Johns Hopkins: “The 2000 Presidential election, and the bitter, 36-day fight that followed over the pivotal state of Florida, opened the eyes of many Americans to a reality they had, up that point, largely chosen to ignore: that their electoral system was-in at least some parts of the country-decrepit, poorly managed, lacking transparency, or clear procedural rules, and prone to corruption, political manipulation, and outright fraud.” [i]

We have heard several times from those whose responsibility it is to make sure the elections are fair that this past election was the most secure in the nation’s history. We have learned much in the ensuing 20 years but that does not mean that the corrections made ensure a fair election. After 2016 following allegations of Russian interference many states changed from straight forward computer voting machines to paper ballots which were then scanned into a machine for counting. These scanners by the way are computers in their own right. But have we made the system any more secure?

To ignore all the allegations of fraud and manipulation will lead the not administration into the same worm hole as the unfounded allegations from 2016. It is highly unlikely that there will be enough fraud found to offset the projected result that Joe Biden won, but the possibility exists. We owe it to the nation and ourselves to do a through and compete investigation and not just dismiss the numerous claims and allegations, some of which are likely true.

This will not stop many of disagreeing, as many still believe the Russian conspiracy story, but it will help reduce the political machinations that will follow. It will not be good for the country to go through what it has for the last four years. Regardless of who is ultimately declared the winner they must be allowed to govern.

[i] Gumbel, A. (2008). Election Fraud and the Myths of American Democracy. Social Research, 75(4), 1109-1134. Retrieved November 18, 2020, from http://www.jstor.org/stable/40972109

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