Seven months after election day, supporters of former President Donald Trump are still scrutinizing ballots in Arizona’s largest county and could reinstate legislation that would make it easier for Texas judges to annul election results.
Meanwhile, Georgia’s Republican-controlled state legislature has passed a bill that would allow the appointment of a council that could replace election commissions. Trump’s loyalists, who lied that he won the 2020 election, are running for the top election offices in several swing states. After a pro-Trump crowd in the U.S. Capitol sparked violence to stop certifying Democrat Joe Biden’s election victory, Republicans rallied to prevent an independent investigation into the riot, leaving Trump in the dark. he defended himself from additional investigation one day. his administration.
To pro-democracy, Democrats, and others, the GOP’s continued denial of the election demonstrates the Republican Party’s growing openness to violating democratic norms, especially after the bitter campaign, the traditional mutual respect for election results. This raises hopes that if the GOP comes into force next year, the party could take an emergency step to refuse to certify future elections.
“We have to face the fact that Republicans, with exceptions, have become an authoritarian party,” said Stephen Levitsky, a Harvard political scientist and co-author of How Democracies Die. “If one of the parties does not want to follow the rules of the game, it is impossible to maintain democracy in a two-party system.”
Republicans have already offered to look in advance at how it might work. On Jan. 6, the day of the Capitol Uprising, a majority of Republicans in the House of Representatives voted to overturn Biden’s victories in Arizona and Pennsylvania. Biden would still have won the College of Voters without these states, but the move showed how the convention certification process, traditionally held in ceremonies, can be armed.
For his part, Trump continues to urge Republicans to accept his election lies. He criticized his former vice president, Mike Pence, for fulfilling his constitutional duty to chair the Congressional Certificate of Biden’s victory. And there is Trump took a step forward According to a longtime Trump ally who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss recent private conversations, by expressing confidence in a bizarre conspiracy theory that he could somehow be reinstated in the presidency in August.
There is no constitutional or legal mechanism for Trump to return to the presidency after winning another election in 2024. Trump’s argument that the recent election was marred by falsification has been rejected by federal and state officials, including his attorney general and Republican election leaders. Judges, including those appointed by Trump, also denied his claims.
But Levitsky and others warn that there are several weaknesses in the U.S. system, where a political party may not allow its opponent to officially win the presidential election.
“I’m more concerned about this than Jan. 7,” said Edward Foley, a law professor studying election disputes at Ohio State University. “Apparently a few months later, the lesson is not ‘never’, but how to be more effective next time.”
However, even critics of the former president and the election paranoia he has spread in his party say it is important not to unbalance the risks.
“It amazes me that I’ve been exposed to too much, too much, too much, too much, too much, too much, too much, too much, too much, too much, too much, too much, too much, too much, too much, too much, too much, too much, too much, too much, too much, too much, too much, too much, too much, too much, too much, too much, too much, too much.” said former Kentucky Secretary of State and Republican Trey Grayson, who has been a vocal critic of Trump’s election fraud allegations.
Grayson said voting procedures have become a guerrilla issue, such as taxes and abortion, casting doubt on election results. “Both sides are really strengthening their rhetoric to strengthen their bases,” Grayson said, acknowledging that “now it’s very clear that something very bad is happening on my side”.
Still, democratically elected officials were able to withstand these “bad things” in 2020, despite pressure from Trump. “When it came time for Republicans to do something in the 2020 election, most of those in power did the right thing,” said Rick Hassen, an election law expert at the University of California, Irvine.
Georgia’s Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and Governor Brian Camp acknowledged Biden’s victory and opposed Trump’s requests to repeal it. Republican Gov. Doug Dewey did the same in Arizona. And on Jan. 6, Mitch McConnell, who oversaw the Senate, delivered a horrific speech condemning Trump’s attempts to cancel the election. Several Republican senators voted to reverse Biden’s victories in Arizona and Pennsylvania.
Still, Hassan said he doesn’t want to sweeten things up. “There are a lot of warning signs,” he said. “This is a very dangerous moment for democracy.”
Trump sought revenge on Republicans who did not support his attempts to cancel the election. He backed Kemp and Raffensperger as the GOP’s main contenders – the latter is claimed by Rep. Jodie Hice, whom Trump hired to race and voted to annul the election in the House of Representatives.
Georgia’s new election bill removes some of Raffensperger’s electoral responsibilities and allows GOP-controlled state legislation to replace local election officials. Arizona’s Republican-controlled legislature is appealing to Democratic Secretary of State Kathy Hobbes to deprive her of the ability to defend her election claims and to state representative Mark Fince, who was at a rally in front of the Capitol on Jan. 6 and is a central supporter of the Arizona audit. , is running for office.
Levitsky said the complex electoral system of the United States distinguishes itself among international democracies by overseeing the election of officials from local democratic parties. “We trust local officials a lot, and if one side decides not to behave, we will face a world of problems,” he said.
Nevertheless, this system has been in operation for over 200 years. “There are a lot of safeguards,” Grayson said. “Now we can take these safety precautions, and if it comes to a situation like it did in 2000, you don’t have 50 guarantees.”
Grayson also stressed that voters will make the final decision. Candidates for secretary of state, who Trump said he would actually win in 2020, must win the Republican Party, then the general election, to seize power. Candidates for Congress can answer questions about whether or not they will sit for the president of the opposing party.
“We’re going to have these elections and the voters have to weigh in,” Grayson said.