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The people have spoken through the ballot box. The efforts of some Republican members of Congress to undermine certified state election results is a shameless attempt to subvert the will of the majority in a fair election. The people have overwhelmingly elected Joe Biden as president, not only by popular vote but through the Electoral College.

“Our democracy can live up to its potential only if the government ensures open access to public office and electoral processes … and protects and secures electoral and voting procedures from foreign and domestic interference.” 

Egged on by outgoing President Donald Trump, who has lied and coerced others to accept conspiratorial notions about the election outcome, several U.S. senators and representatives plan to challenge the certification of electoral votes in Congress. It is meant to be a pro-forma affair as mandated in the U.S. Constitution.

Over the past two months, the courts have rejected every legal challenge by the Republicans to the 2020 presidential election, citing that no fraud was committed. Time and time again, states have rebuffed attempts by Trump and his allies to change the election results certified by state authorities.

This latest effort to derail the certification of Electoral College votes erodes the foundation of our democracy and thwarts the U.S. constitution. They failed with the courts; they failed with the states. Now they are attempting to use the Electoral College to keep their hold on power.

Our democratic system is premised on the belief that each vote counts. People vote for their preferred candidate, not the 538 members of the Electoral College. We see that the Electoral College has outlived its original purpose. It distorts democratic expression based on disproportionate electoral college votes from states with small populations.

The president’s and Republication legislators’ political tactics during the counting of the Electoral College votes further demonstrate that this is an archaic vestige of the founding of our country that can be manipulated by grandstanding politicians.

In the five presidential elections since 2000, twice, the candidate who received fewer votes became president because of the Electoral College—George W. Bush in 2000 and Donald Trump in 2016. In 2016, Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by 2.86 million. Yet Donald Trump became president by virtue of the 304 electoral votes he accumulated.

In 2020, President-elect Joe Biden won by more than 7 million votes. Biden also won 306 electoral votes to Trump’s 232. It is clear Donald Trump lost the 2020 elections. Yet, he and his followers continue to attempt to reverse the results so that they can remain in power. This is treacherous territory for a democracy. Many see it as treasonous.

As Congress counts the electoral votes, let the peoples will prevail. Let there be a peaceful transition of power to the incoming Biden administration.

Diane Randall

Diane Randall

General Secretary
Diane Randall is the General Secretary of the Friends Committee on National Legislation. Diane leads FCNL’s staff to effectively educate and lobby for the policies and legislative priorities established by FCNL’s General Committee.

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