WASHINGTON — President Trump strode into the White House press room on Thursday and spoke for roughly 15 minutes about the 2020 election. His remarks were so laden with lies, misinformation, half-truths, and conspiracy theories that there’s no reason to repeat them.
Trump is trying to undermine U.S. democracy, and we’re not going to help him do it.
Instead, here are a few correctives to the president’s desperate attempt to undermine the public’s faith in its elections.
Widespread voter fraud of the kind Trump alleges is a myth invented and promoted for decades by the Republican Party to restrict access to the ballot box and to keep its grip on power. Ben Ginsburg, a respected election lawyer who worked for the Republican National Committee and Republican political candidates for four decades, recently described rampant voter fraud as “the Loch Ness Monster of the Republican Party. People have spent a lot of time looking for it, but it doesn’t exist.”
Ginsburg went on to write in a recent op-ed that Trump’s demonization of voting by mail was nothing but a cynical strategy to win the election. “As he confronts losing, Trump has devoted his campaign and the Republican Party to this myth of voter fraud,” Ginsburg wrote. “Absent being able to articulate a cogent plan for a second term or find an attack against Joe Biden that will stick, disenfranchising enough voters has become key to his reelection strategy.” And again, Ben Ginsburg is no bleeding-heart liberal activist — he was until recently the most sought-after election lawyer in the entire Republican Party.
Another point to consider: If the president believed that voting by mail was so riddled with fraud — which, to be clear, there is no evidence to support — why did he choose to vote by mail this year? And why did more than a dozen of his senior-most aides and associates vote by mail as well?
As for the ongoing vote count in the U.S., there is nothing at all surprising about the time it’s taking to have a complete count of all votes cast in battleground states such as Arizona, Nevada, Georgia, and Pennsylvania. This is exactly what election experts had predicted for weeks leading up to November 3rd. A record number of Americans chose to vote by mail in this pandemic election year, and it takes time to count all of those ballots. In Pennsylvania, Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf and Republican state legislators failed to pass legislation to give local election officials the ability to start processing — but not counting — ballots before Election Day itself, which meant that election clerks there couldn’t begin to count millions of ballots until the day of the election. There is no nefarious conspiracy at work here.
Nor is there any secret plot underway at individual polling places, no secret “sacks” of votes being carted in to help elect Biden. In Arizona, in fact, every single county broadcasts a live feed that lets you watch as all the ballots get counted. What could be more transparent than that?
President Trump is lashing out at America’s big cities, secretaries of state, local election officials, and the media because he is likely going to lose the presidential race. It’s as simple as that.