Election integrity and voting rights have become a political football in Washington, D.C and around the country, but Democratic Party politicians and their allies in the media are peddling a few falsehoods that cloud this vitally important issue. Disputing the outcome of an election is tantamount to insurrection, we have been told in the wake of January 6, 2021. Additionally, the left now claims narrowing the time and manner in which Americans can cast their ballots is voter suppression aimed at the non-white community. Neither of these assertions holds up against analysis of either the facts or the nature and purpose of democracy itself – especially when they are promoted by the very people who have made disputing elections an art-form.
Most recently, some Democrats – predictably backed up by left-wing journalists and talking heads – have warned the integrity of the upcoming midterms might be in doubt due to newly enacted laws in Texas and Georgia, as well as proposed election reforms in certain other red states. This is obviously no mere coincidence when all indications are that Democrats are likely to lose control of the House and possibly the Senate. And what if they do? Will they claim the results are illegitimate – and so become the threat to democracy they constantly bemoan?
Democracy Over Autocracy?
During a Jan 11 speech in Atlanta, GA, Joe Biden took clear aim at these new voting laws in typically hyperbolic fashion. He asked, “Will we choose democracy over autocracy, light over shadow, justice over injustice?” Like other members of his party, Mr. Biden is promoting an entirely false claim that the laws in question will deprive people of their right to vote. Not only is there no evidence to support such allegations, but certain blue states maintain restrictions on the time, manner, and place of voting that are arguably more prohibitive than rules now in place in Georgia and Texas.
In a letter to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland, Florida Rep. Val Demings (D) alleged “partisans in the Senate” were “working to strip legal voters of their rights.” Demings went on to claim, “The Florida legislature began its 60-day session this week with plans to introduce extreme and unprecedented attacks on our right to vote.” She called upon the Department of Justice to take action.
In reality, the intent behind these new reforms is to prevent what happened in the 2020 election, when certain crucial states were virtually carpet-bombed with mail-in ballots, drop boxes were installed willy-nilly with little or no security, ballot-harvesting was rampant and, to this day, an untold number of submitted ballots remain questionable, due to unmatched signatures, possible duplication, or various other inconsistencies.
All of this, of course, is driven by Democrat fury that they have been unable to pass sweeping legislation that would strip the states of their authority to run elections and put control of all federal elections in the hands of the Biden administration. The 2020 presidential contest, against conventional wisdom and, probably, against most people’s expectations, went the Democrats’ way and it would appear their goal now is to ensure Republicans will not be able to bring order to electoral chaos in the future.
The Tradition of Disputed Elections
Contrary to the Democratic Party’s Trump-obsessed propaganda machine, objecting to the official outcome of a presidential election – and even attempting to derail the certification of Electoral College results – is not new. As far back as 1876, Congress received two sets of electoral votes from four states. Democrats disputed the authority of the Republican Senate President, Thomas Ferry, to decide which votes to count, claiming Congress, which was under Democrat control, should choose. The dispute over 20 electoral votes raged on until Jan. 29, 1877, when the Electoral Commission Act established a bipartisan body to settle the matter.
After the commission awarded the disputed electoral votes from South Carolina, Florida, Louisiana and one from Oregon to the Republican candidate, Rutherford B. Hayes, Democrats delayed the certification with filibusters and adjournments. The Democratic Speaker of the House, fearing the chaos would damage his own party, finally put a stop to the disruptions and allowed the count to be resolved.
In 2000, Democrats disputed George W. Bush’s victory over Democrat Al Gore and, for the entire eight years of his presidency – and well beyond – the left claimed Bush had stolen the election and was an illegitimate president. The Democrats’ Congressional Black Caucus even attempted to prevent the counting of electoral votes from Florida.
Following Donald Trump’s 2016 win over Hillary Clinton, congressional Democrats objected to the certification of electoral votes from several states. Meanwhile, in Washington, D.C. and other cities, left-wing mobs embarked upon violent and destructive rampages. There were no accusations of insurrection. There was no bewailing the threat to Democracy posed by people who refused to accept Trump as president. To this day, certain Democrats and their supporters claim the 2016 election was stolen from Clinton.
When the dust from disputed elections clears, though, it is chilling to think the party in power – whichever it may be – can brand those who contest an outcome as enemies of the state. No reasonable American disputes the right of every one of his or her compatriots to cast a ballot. Just as important to the preservation of democratic elections, however, is the right to scrutinize any result born of a process that appears to have been compromised by irregularities. If we get to the point where questioning an outcome leads to imprisonment, we have truly lost the democratic tradition of this constitutional republic; we have, in reality, become the autocracy of which Biden warned
~ Read more from Graham J. Noble.