Joseph R. Biden Jr has clinched the 270 Electoral College votes necessary to win his race for president of the United States, according to projections by every major news network, including the President’s own propaganda machine, Fox News. This has sparked a whole new crisis by major conservatives to undermine the results of a completely fair and free election, including a refusal by Trump to concede the race, a tradition unbroken by every president in modern memory.
This newly manufactured crisis is multi-faceted and complex although the matter at hand is not. The matter at hand is that Joe Biden is the duly elected 46th President of the United States. This is not something up for debate. It’s simple mathematics. If a president wins a number of votes that exceeds the margin required by the other candidate to secure a lead and exceeds the number of outstanding votes left to be counted, election projectionists can call the race for that candidate because there is no mathematical way for the trailing candidate to win at that point. The state’s number of electoral votes then are projected to go to the leading candidate. The usefulness of the Electoral College system is another matter entirely. However, the math is only one part.
Hundreds of thousands upon millions of the president’s supporters (approximately 71 million) have bemoaned the election as “rigged” or “the biggest political crime in history” in numerous new “Stop the Steal” Facebook groups that reek of overlap with the recently banned Qanon groups. These Facebook groups have been linked to former Trump advisor and conservative political strategist Steve Bannon and many of these have been taken down by Facebook, but many have remained. Riled up conservative voters are organizing protests at vote counting facilities, often led by misinformation. Let me just break down how difficult is to steal an election.
To steal an election, the simplest way is to obviously log more votes. However, this is not simple. The lifecycle of a ballot is something like this: printing, voting, acceptance, tabulation. These are the key steps as to why “stealing an election” is nigh impossible. Firstly, someone could print more ballots for a candidate, but ballots are registered to voters against a voter registration system. This system accounts for doubles via driver’s license numbers. If for some reason a voter receives two absentee ballots and decided they wanted to try and commit voter fraud, they would A) get caught, and B) likely have both ballots invalidated by the act itself. Driver’s license numbers are entirely unique and voter counting takes this into account via multiple checks of the unique sequence of numbers and letters.
It’s impossible for someone to vote twice, because if you vote in person, you receive one ballot. In the event you mismark something, you can request another ballot, but they take your original and destroy it. You don’t get to keep it like the Amazon return you lied about.
The acceptance of ballots is a hot matter of contention based on state laws but again, there is virtually no way to commit voter fraud at this step. Votes are accepted based on personal information and cross-referenced over and over and over again by election officials and observers of both parties. Votes are not just immediately counted when they come in. They are certified at the ground level before being entered in systems to record them, i.e tabulation.
When a vote is tabulated, it is first laid out flat so that a voting machine can tabulate it. With the extreme number of votes that are cast in modern elections due to the sheer amount of people in the United States, this is the only way to have a preliminary projection in an appropriate amount of time. These voting machines cannot be hacked in any meaningful way. The counts on these machines register the dots filled on the ballots with extreme precision and then, they are independently cross-referenced with both voter demographics and population trends. The process is scientific to a fault. To steal an election, you would have to have coordination on a scale that would certainly guarantee a leak somewhere, and no such leak exists because this election was not stolen. It was carried out freely and fairly.
Why are major Republicans going along with this idea that this election was stolen by the Democrats despite no evidence of such a claim? It’s simple. Trump has lost. Biden has won, but the Senate is still up for grabs. In Jaunary, there will be two runoff elections in Georgia that will affectively decide the fate of the Senate control, Democrats or Republicans. If Republicans take control of the Senate, Biden will be a lame duck President and the Republicans will use this to ensure a victory in 2024, citing “complete failure to act” by President-elect Biden. By riling up their base against the powerful emergent blue coalition in Georgia, they can maintain power in two branches of government even if they lose the Presidency.
Donald Trump’s defeat at the hands of American voters is only one safeguard against a continuing goosestep towards fascism. Without political teeth, anti-fascist measures will be moot. If it can happen there, it can happen here.