Must-read from Ned Foley: “Closing Argument: All the President’s Bedlam”

You really need to read the whole thing:

President Trump is talking about “bedlam” — and even “violence in the streets” — if results aren’t known on election night. In fact, he is trying to create bedlam where none exists. He’s seeking to precipitate enough discord and doubt to cause citizens to disbelieve in the vote-counting process.

There should be no bedlam in the counting of ballots. It’s a rather boring process, but it works very well.

For absentee and mailed ballots, election officials make sure that each ballot comes from an eligible and registered voter. That verification is a good thing; it assures the integrity of the election. That’s something Trump and his fellow Republicans who are concerned about fraud should be supporting, not bemoaning.

The process will naturally take time, even days, because of the large number of mailed ballots this year as a result of the pandemic. There is nothing wrong about this. Waiting for official results is a feature of the system, not a bug….

It sounds as if Trump wants to derail the counting of ballots so that an accurate result can’t be reached. That’s the vote-counting version of Trump supporters trying to force a Biden campaign bus off the road. Never before has a sitting president openly called for a subversion of procedures in place for an orderly counting of ballots that citizens have a lawful right to cast.

Let’s be clear about the cause of concern. I’m not especially worried when the president says “as soon as [the] election is over, we are going in with our lawyers.” His lawyers must present evidence that will be evaluated on their merits according to the rule of law. That’s how it should be….

What worries me more is the bedlam that Trump himself may cause outside the courts. The so-called “Brooks Brothers riot” in 2000 shut down the recount in Miami-Dade County. While I don’t think it will be so easy to shut down the basic counting of ballots under state law, enough mischief could cause the process to run out of time. All state electors must cast their official votes for president on Monday, Dec. 14.

Apart from this risk, the gravest danger is throwing so much mud that the public gives up hope of knowing a fair and accurate result. Then a state legislature might try to repudiate the count of voters’ ballots and appoint its own electors.

I offered some similar thoughts yesterday in a post, Still Not Normal and Deeply Disturbing: President Trump Falsely States That Supreme Court Ruling on Pennsylvania Ballots Will Lead to Cheating and “will also induce violence in the streets”

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