Donald Trump tactics to overturn US election could have staying power

Even so, Donald Trump has found friendly lawmakers and party officials willing to bolster his claims and adopt his tactics.

Published: 06th December 2020 09:16 PM  |   Last Updated: 06th December 2020 09:16 PM   |  A+A-

US President Donald Trump

US President Donald Trump (File Photo | AP)

By Associated Press

ATLANTA: Even after he exits the White House, President Donald Trump's efforts to challenge the legitimacy of the election and seeking to overturn the will of voters could have staying power.

Trump's tactics are already inspiring other candidates and have been embraced by a wide array of Republicans.

Supporters include congressional candidates, state lawmakers, party chairs, conservative legal groups and appointees to previously little-known state vote-certification boards.

The breadth of support for Trump's effort could be a troubling sign for future elections.

"What this president is doing is poisoning democracy," former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm said.

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"And, yes, he is setting a precedent, suggesting that it is OK to violate these norms that have made our country great."

Granholm, a Democrat, joined with former New Jersey Gov. Christine Todd Whitman, a Republican, to raise concerns about Trump's refusal to concede and efforts to undermine the integrity of elections.

"This is not who we are as Americans, and we don't want the public coming away from this thinking this is the norm," said Whitman, who served in President George W. Bush's administration.

Trump and his allies have pushed conspiracies involving voting machines manipulated by dead foreign leaders and tens of thousands of fraudulent mail ballots that somehow escaped layers of security and scrutiny by election workers across the country.

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They have filed lawsuits without evidence, tried to pressure state lawmakers into seating their own presidential electors and sought to influence low-level party members who sit on the state and local boards that certify election results.

This is despite the fact that the federal government's own cybersecurity arm declared the presidential election "the most secure in American history," and Attorney General William Barr said the Department of Justice uncovered no evidence that would change the outcome.

Even so, Trump has found friendly lawmakers and party officials willing to bolster his claims and adopt his tactics.

On Friday, a group of 64 GOP lawmakers in Pennsylvania signed a statement urging Congress not to accept the state's slate of electors for Democrat Joe Biden.

They cited a litany of complaints over how the election was conducted.

"A number of people have shown themselves willing to go along or at least being perceived of going along instead of just condemning the entire operation," said Wendy Weiser with the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University Law School.


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