By Alexa Baiata, Editorial Staff (‘21)
In true 2020 fashion, the logistics of this year’s election were completely unprecedented. It started months ago when President Trump refused to state that he would peacefully step down from his position if he were to lose the election.
During a White House press conference on September 23rd, a reporter asked President Trump, “Win, lose, or draw… will you commit to making sure there is a peaceful transferral of power after the election?” To which the president responded, “Well, we’re gonna have to see what happens.” After this quip, the president continued to speak about how the mail-in ballot system is extremely unreliable. These remarks from the president and his refusal to properly answer the question posed created a national uproar, which effectively became the origin of his claims about the legitimacy of the election and voter fraud.
Joe Biden was the definitive winner of the election after flipping Wisconsin and Georgia, which earned him a total of 306 electoral votes. After the election, President Trump took to Twitter to continue contesting the legitimacy of the results. At one point, Twitter actually censored his tweets because of the misinformation he was spreading. Under many of his misleading tweets, Twitter has put a message stating, “This claim about election fraud has been disputed,” which leads Twitter users to a page where they can read reports from reputable news outlets.
One of President Trump’s many tweets about election fraud stated, “‘Study: Dominion Machines shifter 2-3% of Trump Votes to Biden. Far more votes than needed to sway the election.’ Florida, Ohio, Texas, and many other states were won by even greater margins than projected. Did just as well with Swing States, but bad things happened. @OANN”. The source President Trump cited, OANN, or One American News Network, is a far-right news outlet that reports misleading news and statistics like the one cited in this tweet. The Elections Infrastructure Government Coordinating Council and the Election Infrastructure Sector Coordinating Executive Committees gave a statement in opposition to claims that the election was systematically rigged, saying that “the November 3rd election was the most secure in American history […] There is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised.” This statement does not reject claims of small-scale voter fraud committed by individual voters. However, it does rule out the complaint that there was systematic voter fraud carried out by ballot-counting locations and in ballot booths.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell officially congratulated President-Elect Joe Biden on December 15th, a month and 12 days after Election Day. Even after McConnell’s endorsement, President Trump has not ceased to express his dissatisfaction with the election results and has continued to insist that massive voter fraud occurred, even though that has already been debunked. There were some confirmed cases of lone-acting voters committing fraud; however, they were caught and prosecuted for it, and the federal government rendered the illegitimate votes void. President Trump’s claims that the election was rigged against him in any way are essentially false. Mail-in ballots are even proven to be a safer way to vote. Ultimately, Joe Biden will be inaugurated in January, as the extent of Trump’s claims about election tampering have been refuted.