By Ivan Koloff, Legendary Great
I recently received via an unsolicited email the following message. It begins:
Can you answer the question: Do you believe the election results are fraudulent and Trump should have won a 2nd term?
I responded to the sender as follows:
I don’t believe the election results are “fraudulent.” Nor do I believe that Trump was reelected.
That said,substantial questions have been raised about the voting process in certain key states, and it is in everyone’s interests to investigate and answer those questions.
That is why I support the bill introduced by Senator Scott to establish the 2020 Bipartisan Advisory Committee charged with examining the integrity of the November election and making recommendations to State legislatures to improve the security, integrity, and administration of federal elections.
I assume you and your progressive ilk will line up in support of this bill as well.
The original sender answered, commenting on POTUS's after-incident remarks:
I watched Trump's remarks. I appreciate the sentiment and agree with it - but it doesn’t negate all he’s said and done. Over years, he has enabled* the behavior, lies and divisiveness that inevitably led to the well promoted / organized events of Jan 6 and now 5 deaths. He helped convince 70% of Republicans that despite 60 court cases finding no evidence of voter fraud, the election was stolen and the only solution is ’taking over the government’.
* No profile in courage for me - remember when the TX Biden bus forced off the road? Rubio said on Nov 3: "We love what they did, but here's the thing they don't know: We do that in Florida every day. ... you know they were protecting his bus yesterday, because they're nice…"
Do you mind sending me the citations to the “60 court cases” where a judge held an evidentiary hearing that included sworn testimony and written document review before finding “no evidence of voter fraud”?
Also, regarding the alleged “forcing a TX Biden bus” “off the road,” that story has been debunked. https://townhall.
com/tipsheet/bethbaumann/2020/ 11/02/no-trump-supporters- didnt-try-running-the-biden- bus-off-the-road-n2579279 And, if it were true, presumably someone who have been charged with a crime. Are you aware of any such charges being filed?
After a quick 20 minutes of research (as the Koloff family is renowned for its dual skills of photographic memory and Pilates), I then followed up with a more comprehensive review:
I have not been ignoring you. Rather, it took me some time to read the multitude of cases litigating the election, which included those identified on the ABA’s website plus some additional cases I came across. For your convenience and reading pleasure, I prepared a chart outlining these 57 cases, which I encourage you to review carefully. The bottom line is this:
- Of these 57 cases, 33 (61%) were brought before the election, including a number brought by the Democratic party. These cases generally involved election procedures and obviously did not address any alleged misconduct that may have occurred during the conduct of the election;
- In 50 of these 57 cases (88%), the court did not hold an evidentiary hearing and thus made no findings regarding potential or actual election misconduct.
- In most of the cases brought after the election, the court declined to address the merits of the claims based on various procedural grounds (e.g., standing, mootness).
- Even in those cases where an evidentiary hearing was held, the courts reached the merits in only three of these cases.
In short, your statement that 60 court cases found “no evidence of voter fraud” is demonstrably untrue.
To your specific questions that I have paraphrased slightly below, my responses are as follows:
Why have the states (including Republican-led) certified the results?
The general answer is because the states were required to certify results by specific deadlines after the election – deadlines established by state and federal law. These deadlines involve short turnaround times and were not established with addressing fact-intensive election challenges in mind. Indeed, many of the post-election challenges that Trump and individual voters filed in court were brought after certification, which gave courts an easy out for disposing of those challenges without reaching the merits.
Furthermore, most states require that election results by certified at the local, county, or district level as an initial matter, after which certification at the state level is nearly automatic. And, the election officials who do the certifying are the same officials responsible for conducting the election in accordance with state and federal requirements. Without being cynical, it is not surprising that an election official would be inclined to certify the results rather than acknowledging that the election may not have been conducted in accordance with law.
What is not final or questionable about the finality of the judicial rulings when no / new evidence has been found or presented?
As noted above, very few cases actually considered whether there was evidence of election misconduct, let alone found that no such misconduct occurred. And, even in cases where the courts declined to grant relief, some judges expressed concerns about the conduct of the election. For example, in Constantino v. City of Detroit, the Michigan Supreme Court denied review of the lower court’s ruling on procedural grounds, but stated that its doing so was not intended “to diminish the troubling and serious allegations of fraud and irregularities asserted by the affiants.” Even three justices of the U.S. Supreme Court opined that the conduct of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in modifying state election procedures was almost certainly unconstitutional.
Furthermore, a number of these cases have been appealed, including several that are currently pending before the U.S. Supreme Court. To be sure, once Biden is sworn in, it would not be surprising if the Supreme Court dismissed these appeals as moot. But at least at this juncture, the lower court rulings in these cases are not yet “final.”
Why would a committee be necessary now but has never been needed in any previous election?
The pandemic made this election very unusual, as I am sure you would acknowledge. The pandemic resulted in the significant and haphazard use of mail-in ballots and ballot harvesting, which were the sources of mischief about which Trump and others complained. A bipartisan commission could help determine whether such complaints were well-founded and, if so, recommend best practices to address these subjects going forward.
And, like it or not, and whether well-founded or not, a not insignificant number of Americans have doubts about the conduct of the 2020 election. These doubts could be assuaged by a bipartisan commission. If the U.S. can have bipartisan commissions on the Kennedy assassination and 9/11, why not have a bipartisan commission on the presidential election of 2020?
Why not hold existing federal and state election security agencies accountable for doing their jobs?
That is an excellent idea, but it not clear how federal or state agencies are held accountable absent some third party (like a bipartisan commission) finding that such agencies fell short in the discharge of their duties and recommending how such agencies could avoid those shortcomings going forward.
Having dispensed with these arguments, I signed off from Compuserve and bid my counterpart adieu.