There’s seldom been a sharper divide in America over the views of an election. Trump’s people claim he really won in a landslide and was cheated by massive vote fraud. The Democrats and the media brush that off as crazy, unfounded conspiracy talk and irresponsible, un-American rhetoric that undermines faith in a free and fair election.
I’m deliberately not taking a side on issues that I don’t know the truth about. I made my view clear early on, and caught flak for it, in calling on Joe Biden and the Democrats to simply agree to work in a bipartisan fashion to audit the vote to reassure voters that they could trust the results. If there was nothing amiss, then they should be eager to prove it, dispel the suspicions and move on.
Instead, the accusations have devolved lower every day (“You’re crazy!”/”You’re a thief!”), and a new poll shows how corrosive this has already been. A recent Rasmussen survey found that 59% of Americans think mail-in ballots will lead to more voter fraud (that’s 86% of Republicans and even 36% of Democrats.) Now, a new Rasmussen survey of likely voters finds that 61% think Trump should concede to Biden. That includes 84% of Democrats, 59% of Independents and 37% of Republicans.
But here’s the weird part: even though 61% think Trump should concede, 47% think it’s likely Democrats stole votes or destroyed Trump ballots to win, while 50% disagree. That means that not only do nearly half of voters not trust the election results, but as many as 14% apparently believe or suspect the election was stolen, but Trump should concede anyway.
Democrats are rushing to blame this apparent loss of faith in elections on Trump refusing to concede and making wild accusations of fraud and conspiracy. But they’re conveniently overlooking their own part in preparing the ground by spending four years making wild, unsubstantiated claims that the 2016 election was rigged by Russia and that Trump is an “illegitimate” President. They even made a party leader and celebrity out of Stacy Abrams, who has yet to concede her loss in Georgia in 2018. She’s currently leading their drive to win Georgia’s two Senate seats, even as prominent Democrats openly call for liberals to move temporarily to Georgia and commit voter fraud by voting in the runoff.
It’s not healthy for this nation to have so many people start to believe – whether that belief is accurate or not – that they can’t trust our election process. It’s like ignoring a crack in your home’s foundation. Restoring their trust is going to take both parties working to pass bipartisan reform to make our elections more secure. One top priority should be an end to the push to simply mail ballots to every name on unvetted, out-of-date voter lists, which even 39% of Democrats see as an open door to vote fraud. That’s how we treat junk mail, and ballots are not junk.
Unfortunately, as Arizona Rep. Debbie Lesko points out, the House is already poised to do the exact opposite if the Democrats win the Senate. They will ram through HR 1, a bill that federalizes election laws to remove most safeguards, including banning voter ID laws and legalizing ballot harvesting. This is why it’s so vital that the Republicans win those Georgia seats so the Senate can put the brakes on incredibly irresponsible bills like these.
Now is the time to tighten election security and reassure Americans that the system works, not undermine their trust even more. Anyone who would fight even the most basic, common sense laws to insure that every vote is secure and legal is signaling a lack of concern for the disenfranchisement of legal voters and prioritizing the pursuit of their own power over the good of the nation.