As a legal analyst, a party is often fun. As millions celebrated the call to election of Joe Biden (including most of my immediate family), I watched with a mixture of mutual excitement and quiet concern. It seems that Biden won that election and his speech last night was the perfect pitch and message for a nation divided. However, there are still legal challenges in half a dozen, new affidavits with disturbing, sworn allegations, and relatively tight state competitions. As someone who covered presidential elections for networks in 2000, these challenges are like living torpedoes in the water – you don’t know if you could actually hit below the waterline. The problem for legal analysts is that, given the tabulations that still exist, it is hardly possible to assess allegations of voting irregularities.
We still don’t know if there is evidence of systemic fraud or irregularities. In fact, I have a feeling that the Trump campaign doesn’t know. So far, contrary to heated allegations, Trump’s legal team has not presented any hard evidence.
However, with millions celebrating at the finish line they believe is the finish line, the greatest danger is in a choice of Rosie Ruiz.
Forty years ago, Ruiz became a notorious figure when she was named the fastest woman to win the 84th Boston Marathon in 1980. After all, she was seen crossing the finish line before any other woman. The problem was that eight days later it was discovered that she had crossed the finish line on the subway.
The difference between the Boston marathon and the presidential election is that the latter are aimed at avoiding an abbreviation for the elected president. First the voting slips are listed in a table, then the voting slips are queried and then the results are confirmed. The challenges can continue until the certification phase, which is scheduled to end on December 8th.
There is a specific strategy by Rosie Ruiz that is used in elections, especially when orchestrating a sparkling ending and a victorious celebration.
This was the case in the 1960 election of John F. Kennedy. Many historians believe that Kennedy actually lost the race to Richard Nixon. Instead, he was declared the winner with 49.80% of the vote. Widespread election fraud that exaggerated Kennedy has been reported in Illinois and Texas. Many of these allegations were cleared after the media declared Kennedy the winner and the campaign locked the narrative with celebrations and transition announcements.
After leading only 1,784 in Florida, Bush’s campaign threw him on a victory lap to create the image of the alleged president-elect. When the Democrats questioned the results and filed a series of lawsuits calling for recounts, they were viewed as fighters to reverse the will of voters when they found ballot papers. The recount resulted in a change of only around 900 votes before the election was effectively closed 41 days later by the Bush Supreme Court v Gore.
What happened next is often overlooked. Several studies found that Gore likely won Florida. At this point, however, George Bush was sworn in as the 43rd President of the United States. The point is clear. The important thing is not whether you were actually victorious, but whether you were victorious when you passed the certification line.
Even so, Mayor Kenney called for a license “just like Al Gore”. In reality, Gore challenged that election and forced a recount that lasted 41 days. It found that the recount may not have determined the actual number of votes.
In honor of Joe Biden, he showed admirable reluctance to attain victory. The question is whether he will now take even greater leadership in supporting a full and open review of the main state races.
Trump’s legal team needs to improve their game. So far there has been a lack of concentration and discipline. . . and a notable lack of real evidence. On Friday, a clearly disgruntled federal judge filed a lawsuit in federal court in Las Vegas for lack of such evidence.
To live up to the Trump campaign, it is difficult to produce evidence if you have not been given access to polls or important records. In addition, there is a certain skepticism about claims that this election was practically flawless even in cities with a long and eventful history with voting irregularities. We have never had an election based on such a large number of mail-in votes, and there are obvious concerns about the authentication of ballots. The main concern is not that tabulation workers fill out ballot papers or burn ballots. Rather, it’s about how mail-in ballots were sent, authenticated, and processed. There have been many reports of people receiving multiple ballots, groups filling out ballots on behalf of voters, and even some cases of votes submitted for people who have passed away.
In truth, the current allegations are more difficult to understand than they were in 2000. The Florida recount has been largely mechanical and obvious. They had a bizarre “butterfly ballot” and hung Chads on punch cards. The 2020 election includes issues of voting slip authentication and table device calibration. If such standards are set too low, there are practically no incidents of irregularities because the threshold standards are too low. We just don’t know and wouldn’t know until there is better access to information.
All elections have such problems even without the use of tens of millions of postal ballot papers. The question is whether such irregularities are systemic or just episodic. The accumulation of small pockets of challenged ballot papers is unlikely to overcome current margins in states like Pennsylvania.
The Democrats have tried recounts or judicial reviews, the opposite position from 2000. The concern is that we still haven’t had meaningful access to the underlying evidence, and while the chances are not high, it is still possible that challenges could arise traction in court. If a real problem emerges in a key state, the massive celebrations could change dramatically.
Again, there is currently no evidence of systemic election fraud, but there is ample reason to conduct investigations. Biden himself should urge the Democratic Party to support this control and transparency once the first tables are ready. This is not easy for any politician, but it would be the ultimate act of the alleged president-elect. Biden is not a Rosie Ruiz. Biden showed respect for the process and this was a hard-fought victory. He can cross the border without the support of mass transports. This is the way to show it.