Make Them Hear You: Restoring Election Integrity

Make Them Hear You! is a weekly feature on KGNU, produced by Chris Mohr, letting listeners know how they can have their voices heard on issues up before Congress. You can hear it Wednesday mornings at 8.20am during the Morning Magazine.

More than a third of all Americans still believe the election was stolen from Donald Trump. I have talked to some of these people, and they want to see the election completely re-litigated by an independent commission, with all information out in the open. This is what Ted Cruz and other Trump supporters have advocated. But Trump himself has made it clear that the only outcome that he would find acceptable would be a declaration that he won. So if Trump continues to refuse the conclusions of even this commission, few of his supporters would look at the evidence and decide that Trump was wrong.

In addition, the election was litigated in court 65 times, and Trump’s lawyers lost all but one minor technical case. One-fourth of all federal judges are Trump appointees, and several of them threw out his appeals. So did Trump’s three Supreme Court appointees, and all the Republican-appointed judges. And all the Republican Secretaries of State and election officials who certified the election results. Add to that the fact that almost all the polls showed Biden with a solid lead throughout 2020, that Trump’s own election cybersecurity chief declared the election legitimate and well secured, as did Trump’s attorney general William Barr, as did Trump supporters Mitch McConnell and Lindsey Graham. None of this stopped Trump from allegedly inciting a fatally violent insurrection on January 6. The recent lawsuits by voting companies against Newsmax and Fox News could be won if they could prove the election was stolen with the help of voting machines, but instead they have fired Lou Dobbs and kicked The Pillow Guy off the air mid-interview.

So what can be done to restore faith in our democracy and erode the suspicions Trump continues to enflame? Biden is being encouraged to establish a bipartisan presidential commission to recommend ways to restore public trust in democracy. Biden needs to take steps to move us away from the brink. After years of domestic and foreign attacks sowing distrust in our elections, rebuilding trust will not be fast nor easy. The proposed Presidential Commission on Election Resilience and Trust (PCERT) would identify best practices and make recommendations to help more Americans believe our elections are on the up and up.

Three topics the Commission can focus on. First, bolstering trust in elections, such as more widespread adoption of robust post-election audits, which can increase voter confidence; Second, countering false information from foreign and domestic actors that undermines confidence in election integrity; and third, whether to make permanent some of the changes state and local officials made in response to the coronavirus pandemic, such as expansion of absentee voting, early voting, and others.

The Commission would ultimately present a series of recommendations before year’s end for election officials, lawmakers, members of the media, civic leaders, social media platforms, and others aimed at improving U.S. election administration and voter confidence.

If you have thoughts on the proposed Presidential Commission on Election Resilience and Trust (PCERT), you can contact the White House as well as your Senators and Congressperson.