Donald Trump never had an easy ride during his presidency. After having won a decisive electoral college victory over Hillary Clinton in 2016, he was plagued by various inquiries related to the nature of that election victory. These included the Mueller investigation, which ultimately found no evidence of collusion between the Trump election campaign and Russia but cast a dark cloud over the first half of his presidency that likely prevented him from carrying out his more ambitious plans. He may be forgiven, therefore, in feeling that his political opponents should be subject to similar scrutiny concerning the conduct of the 2020 elections.
Prior to the early hours of Wednesday morning (EST), Trump held a lead in the majority of swing states with more than 65 percent reporting. But after a brief delay in reporting mail-in-ballots, that lead was rapidly erased in an unbelievable tally of votes coming for Biden.
While many argue that mail-in-votes favor Democratic voters, that argument should not be used to shut down any reasonable requests for greater electoral scrutiny.
Trump won a legal request in Pennsylvania to allow observance of vote counting by outsiders presumably to check if only legal ballots are being included in the count. I do not believe overt fraud is being committed in the election, but it is reasonable to ensure that this unusually high influx of mail-in-ballots (due in part to the ongoing pandemic) is not automatically incorporated in the count without complete verification.
Trump is heading towards 69 million votes, more than either he or Hillary Clinton got in 2016. In most elections, it would easily be a winning tally. Yet somehow, Biden has managed to amass more than 73 million votes, which is astonishing given that it far exceeds that acquired by Barack Obama, arguably one of the most popular presidents in recent memory.
America remains for many, even those like me who live outside it, the world’s greatest democracy, where the rights of every person are protected and enshrined in their Constitution. The right to vote and the right to freedom of speech are perhaps the greatest of them all, as without them, democracy gives way to something dangerous.
Countries that have been criticized by the U.S. for unfair elections would be in a better position to claim hypocrisy if the U.S. did not guarantee its own citizens equally high election audit standards.
The emergent victor must unite a bitterly divided country after an extremely close election where 70 million voters either side may not accept the new president, and that is a recipe for a disastrous four years. Because of this, it is important, that any air of uncertainty or illegitimacy surrounding the election is quickly and objectively addressed so that the country as a whole, and the rest of the world, can move forward together during these difficult times.