Election deniers are a growing threat to the credibility of American elections. In the run-up to the midterm elections, they have seized key battleground states and districts in both parties. GOP nominees for key positions are election deniers. Other election deniers are under investigation in Michigan for misrepresenting themselves to election officials, testing and tampering with voting equipment.
The GOP’s fervor to elevate election deniers has coincided with the doubts of its pro-Trump allies about the outcome of the 2020 presidential election. In particular, pro-Trump allies have called for investigations into voter fraud, claiming that election officials rigged races and used fraudulent voting equipment. However, whenever such investigations were pursued, the same Republicans have resisted the findings. The stronger the investigation efforts, the more unhappy they have been with the results.
This election denial has become a habit for a significant proportion of Republicans. In one recent poll, more than 70% of GOP voters claimed that Trump’s election was stolen. The current election cycle’s election denial campaign has grown more potent, subversive, and determined than ever. Democracy’s foes have two months to destroy the 2020 election, but they will have two years to prepare for the 2024 election. As election deniers continue to threaten our democracy and democratic institutions, it is imperative to take action to combat election deniers.
The election deniers are on the ballot in almost every state and region. According to a poll by FiveThirtyEight, at least 60% of Americans will see an election denier on their ballot in November. Although some are running in heavily Democratic districts, many of them are expected to win Republican seats.
Now, with this, election deniers are not just in the Republican party. The following races had the Democrats crying “fraud”.
- Stacey Abrams and many of her supporters argues that Brian Kemp had stolen the Governor’s race in Georgia in 2018
- Al Gore argued that the 2000 election was stolen by George W. Bush
- John Kerry cried foul in 2004.
In all these cases and more, the challenges of the results stood the test. The same is true with Republican attacks of election results.
So what’s the difference between the Democrats and the Republicans when it comes to the denial of election results? Clearly it is the magnitude. In today’s GOP you can hardly run for election without denying the 2020 Presidential results as part of your platform. Meanwhile, the incidents of such among Democrats are rare. Furthermore, they are far between (sometimes decades).
Both parties are wrong. Now more than ever, it is easy to expose election fraud. Millions of dollars have been offered for proof by Republican billionaires. Meanwhile, virtually everyone walks around with forensic tools called camera equipped smartphones. The same tools that fueled the Black Lives Matter movement would expose voter fraud. But only a Republican would say that the Democrats and the GOP are the same when it comes to election denying.
It goes back to the problem of a lack of nuance in virtually all political conversations these days. Extreme positions are the rule. So the Republicans believe all elections they lost (only those) are fraudulent, while Democrats pretend that fraud never happens. Both are wrong. The logical and nuanced approach is to conclude that fraud does happen and none should be tolerated. But this should be handled deliberately and sensibly, not like the chaos we have seen since 2020.