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This 2022 Election

The brave new world where losers cry foul.

Donald Trump tried to break our democracy via the electoral system. With our long history of stuffed ballot boxes, intimidation, private security systems for compiling results and the general corruption within our federal and state governments, all of this sets the stage for what is coming in a couple of weeks.

When the former president announced in August of 2020 that if he didn’t win it was because the system was rigged against him, it opened the floodgates for election deniers. This was the sitting president making the announcement. Unheard of.

Now, we have a majority of Republican nominees on the ballot this November for the House, Senate and key statewide offices — 291 in all — who have denied or questionedthe outcome of the last presidential election, according to a Washington Post analysis.

Candidates who have challenged or refused to accept Joe Biden’s victory — 51 percent of the 569 analyzed by The Washington Post — are running in every region of the country and in nearly every state. Republican voters in two states nominated election deniers in all federal and statewide races The Washington Post examined. Not good.

Do you imagine that all of these 291 Republicans who lose are going to do so graciously? That they will happily congratulate their winning rival? Of course not. We have a storm gathering the likes of which this country hasn’t seen since the Civil War.

We know from the January 6th insurrectionists that folks supporting these election deniers have strong, if inaccurate, opinions about democracy and legitimate elections and we know they are not afraid to use guns and violence if they deem such is necessary. An unequivial and potentially dangerous mess.

In the 2000 presidential election of Bush vs. Gore, Bush was handed the election via the Supreme Court and notably Justice Anthony Scalia, who refused to allow a recount in Florida even though Gore won the popular vote nationwide and even though Florida was initially called for Gore. It was Carl Rove who went of Fox News and disputed the outcome, which opened the door to the shenanigans that ultimately gave the victory to Bush.

Easy to see why folks wouldn’t have confidence in such a system. The kicker is that it was Republicans back then who manipulated the system to give the victory to Bush. It’s probably many of the same Republiicans, along with their younger, indoctrinated brethren, who will be at the heart of the upcoming ‘disputes’.

How do we combat election denier claims? We first need to think in two phases, the near term and the longer term. Near term (like during the next two weeks) we can support election officials, poll workers and any others involved in the election process. We can keep our camera phones on the ready if we witness bad behavior from other voters. We can call 911 if things get too out of hand.

We of course need to vote and encourage voter turn out. Much harder to claim victory amidst defeat when losing by 20 points instead of a handful of votes.

For most of us citizens, that’s about all we can do.

Longer term the solution is open source code that proves there is no computer based tampering of the votes, and voting machines and systems of impeccable integrity. With such in place, calls of voter fraud become clearly rediculous.

Speaking of impeccable integrity, this is really the great failure. The Carl Rove stunt in 2000, the more recent Trump noise and the well corrupted system we live within are all reasons for the loss of trust. Indeed, there seems to be no integrity within Republican election denier stances and actions. Win at all costs is the modern mantra, much to our dismay as citizens. They serve no one but themselves. And the Democrats with their corporate overlords aren’t much better.

In a hopeful sign, early voting the cycle is through the roof, in many states outperforming 2018, which was notable for the high turnout in a mid-term election.

So, it seems we’re in for a wild ride, coming soon to an election near you. Hold true, take your duty as a citizen seriously, because there has been no more serious threat to our democracy in over a hundred years. And confront election deniers as loudly as they cry foul. It’s a sad state we’re in. We must do what we can.

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