Audits may reveal some of the shenanigans in the 2020 US election

Audits may reveal some of the shenanigans in the 2020 US election. By Conrad Black.

Electoral shenanigans and the abdication of judicial responsibility are the real threats to our democracy. Let the audits proceed.

In the Wall Street Journal of June 10, Peggy Noonan captured the kernel of the crisis of national division that afflicts America: Donald Trump and opposed perceptions of last year’s presidential election. Equitable person though Noonan is, she qualifies as a Trump-hater, whose invective against Trump has only escalated over time. …

She thinks that anyone who wasn’t appalled by the storming of the Capitol on January 6 has given up on democracy. Lingering concern about the fairness of the result is in itself an assault upon democracy. “The breaching of the Capitol happened because of a conspiracy theory: that the election was actually won by Mr. Trump but stolen from him by bad people.”

She makes no allowance for exactly the opposite view: that there is ample evidence that Trump was sandbagged in rigged voting and vote-counting in only six states, stonewalled by the courts, and defamed by a unanimous national political media: the courts couldn’t face overturning the election, and the media can’t accept the idea that it was a tainted election. …

The analysis of the causes of the current dangerous division in the country’s political life must start — not with the invasion of the Capitol, which has already been investigated and yields nothing damaging to Trump — but with a serious analysis of the election results in six states: Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. The election went off without a hint of a problem in 44 states. In the six states named there were changes to voting and vote-counting rules adopted supposedly to respond to the difficulties imposed by the pandemic and often in constitutionally questionable ways. …

It simply won’t do for the Noonan-unanimous media stonewall to say that Trump’s complaints were just sour grapes, examined and dismissed by impartial justice. Peggy Noonan knows better than I do about hundreds of thousands of votes arriving with lopsided Biden majorities in the middle of the night at Mark Zuckerberg’s drop boxes in Pennsylvania that were then immediately mixed with other ballots with no possibility of verification.

She knows that the Boland v. Raffensperger case over why the ballot rejection rate dropped in Georgia by 90 percent from 2018 wasn’t judged but was rejected because the party sued arguing that the Georgia Secretary of State was “an improper party.” The corresponding case in Michigan, Donald J. Trump For President Inc. v. Benson, alleging violations of state law by the failure to allow access by observers was not heard because it was only filed at 4 p.m. on November 4.

All America saw the videos of vote counters clapping as Republican observers were evicted and plywood was placed over the windows. The judge ruled Michigan’s secretary of state had no responsibility for monitoring drop boxes despite a recently adopted law requiring such surveillance. In Pennsylvania, Metcalfe v. Wolf alleged that anywhere from 144,000 to 288,000 completed mailed-in or absentee ballots may have been illegal based on testimony from a U.S. Postal Service contractor. The judge declined to hear the case because such a request was required to be filed within 20 days of the alleged violation (although, in fact, it appears to have made that deadline).

In Wisconsin, Trump v. Evers alleged extensive violations of state election laws including the issuance of a large number of absentee ballots without written applications, unauthorized filling-in of ballots by municipal clerks, lack of verification of the authenticity of large numbers of absentee ballots. Yet the Wisconsin Supreme Court in a divided decision found that the suit had to begin at the lowest course and proceed upwards, a material impossibility in the short deadlines allowed.

These cases are illustrative and there are comparable complaints that the judiciary at every level declined to hear what were apparently responsibly launched cases that, if upheld, certainly would have delivered the Electoral College victory to the incumbent president. …

Audits may lead to national healing:

The 2020 presidential election is the most questionable in the history of the country except for 1876, when the plaintiff candidate, Samuel J. Tilden, accepted the result in exchange for a number of measures that would be taken by his opponent, Rutherford B. Hayes. That agreement was honored.

In this case, Trump has been denounced as a crook and a lunatic, and this failure to consider the election seriously has been exacerbated by the abdication of the judiciary from its constitutional position as coequal branch of government with the legislative and the executive.

Instead of dismissing the entire Trump phenomenon and his 75 million voters as “operatives and grifters” — a variant on the “basket of deplorables” theory of Hillary Clinton — and election concerns that are extremely well-founded in publicly available legal arguments launched by responsible citizens, as the madness of QAnon, Noonan should await the election audit now finishing in Arizona and pending in several other states.

All of these audits are being conducted with complete impartiality and all findings will be based on solid accompanying evidence …

If these election audits in progress or pending uphold the election result, Trump will accept the result and the crisis will evaporate. If they reveal that this administration was improperly and illegally elected, then either the Supreme Court will have to determine the consequences or the candidates will, as in 1876, reach an agreement. …

The real problem here is not that the Trump campaign is needlessly causing trouble with wild allegations that already have been authoritatively rejected. The problem is that grave questions about the fairness of the election have been uniformly denounced by the media of almost totalitarian partisanship as absurd and the courts uniformly refused to adjudicate the real issues.

Polls say that about three quarters of Republicans and 30% of Democrats have serous doubts about the election results.

Like China blocking inquiries about the origin of covid, the Democrats look guilty by hiring hundreds of lawyers and blocking every inquiry into whether the voting was above board.