President Donald Trump has once again cried voter fraud, this time claiming that mail-in ballots in several key states were fabricated to steal the election from him. After President-elect Joe Biden’s victory was confirmed Saturday, Trump made multiple statements about how “this election is far from over.”
Baseless claims of voter fraud by a sitting president are a direct threat to our democracy, undermining the core values of a free and fair election. Since we can almost guarantee Trump will continue to make these claims, it is imperative citizens research the topic and dismiss unfounded claims of voter fraud.
In 2016, Trump made claims that he only lost the popular vote because Democrats had cheated. Since then, he has ratcheted up those assertions and is now attempting to litigate the election.
According to the Brennan Center for Justice, voter fraud is extremely rare, and voter impersonation is all but nonexistent. By making these claims, the president is attempting to portray the election as illegitimate and maintain power, regardless of the will of the American people.
There has never been conclusive evidence of voter fraud on the level necessary to tip the scales of an election. There have of course been isolated instances, and many of these were later shown to have been caused by voter or administrator error.
While some right-wing groups have presented findings of what they believe to be widespread voter fraud, the findings have been dismissed by nonpartisan experts and research groups. No credible research group has ever found evidence of these claims.
Some could say these remarks are just Trump being Trump, that his comments come from an attempt to save face after his defeat. We think Trump is using fabricated claims to undermine the election and stay in power. Any political leader who is unwilling to step down from power after the lawful conclusion of their term is dangerous to our democracy.
While the Trump campaign has brought forth litigation and requests for recounts in several states, experts are saying these efforts will go nowhere. According to The New York Times, none of the “dozen or so” lawsuits appear to be gaining any traction in the courts, due largely to the fact that there simply is not enough evidence to confirm fraud at the level the president claims.
While Trump’s remarks may not affect the election, they certainly set a dangerous precedent. If the citizens of this country accept baseless claims by politicians who wish to undermine an election, it is a matter of time before we spiral into tyranny.
Americans must disregard these lies. To accept them is to accept a world where politicians can freely undermine our elections, hoodwink their constituents and bend the law to maintain power, and that is not a world we want to live in.
The Shorthorn Editorial Board is made up of opinion editor Spencer Brewer; Editor-in-Chief Shay Cohen; news editor Angelica Perez; Cecilia Lenzen, life and entertainment editor; sports editor Chris Amaya; David Silva Ramirez, life and entertainment reporter; and copy editor Andrew Walter.