The country was lucky that President Trump and his reelection campaign were so inept. He ultimately lost by a wide margin, and his challenges to the results have been farcical. His rhetoric ramped up in inverse proportion to his ability to produce evidence supporting his charges of systemic “fraud” or “rigged” elections.
The United States might not be so lucky next time. What if the 2020 election had been as close as it was in 2000, and the outcome hinged on a state (or states) with a truly narrow margin? How would the country have fared under a Trump-style assault on democracy’s foundations?
Trump’s attempts to negate millions of votes by challenging state certifications revealed cracks in those foundations. Some shoring-up is clearly needed before the next election cycle begins. A good place to start might be with the appointment of a bipartisan commission that would propose election reforms to Congress and the states. Here are half a dozen suggestions to get things started:…
Strengthening election laws and modernizing the processing of ballots are important, but no matter how laws are written or what upgrades are instituted, bad actors can find a way to test the limits. The 2020 election showed that the United States’ laws and institutions can always be improved. Yet the reason the system held and Trump failed was that countless individuals honorably did their duty under those laws, even while sometimes under furious attack from the president and his allies.
As a Republican, I am especially proud of how those from my own party charged with running and certifying elections met the moment. They and their colleagues in the states and localities are the reason the country passed this stress test. The Founders, in their wisdom, designed a system that could rely on Americans themselves as the nation’s last line of defense.