Thoughts on Last Night: A Step Back from the Precipice on Election Denialism and a Slightly Rosier Forecast for a Free and Fair Election in 2024

The votes are still being tallied and there are still some worrisome places to watch (most importantly at this point, Arizona), but the worst case scenario seemed to have been avoided yesterday and last night in terms of risks to free and fair elections.

First, there was very little violence and disruption of voting locations. There were some glitches (including in Maricopa County, Arizona, where tabulators were apparently misprogrammed and not accepting some ballots for scanning for a time and some Clark County, Nevada locations that ran out of ballots), but things generally went pretty smoothly. Yes counting takes a long time, especially in larger states and states that do not allow pre-canvassing of mail in ballots. But there was not major meltdown reported (at least so far).

Election denialists in Congress were elected and reelected, but one might think of them as engaging in cheap talk about denialism to placate the Trumpian base of the Republican party. More importantly, it looks like most of the gubernatorial candidates who said they would not have certified the 2020 election in their state for Biden (despite all evidence that Biden fairly won the election in those states) lost their races. (Arizona is too close to call at the time I write this.) Same is true for many of the Secretary of State candidates (though AZ and NV have not yet been called). That makes the risks for official/insider shenanigans in the 2024 presidential election less likely.

We have also seen some gracious concessions, even from MAGA-supported candidate such as Michigan’s Republican gubernatorial candidate, Tudor Dixon. (Again, keeping an eye on Lake in AZ if she loses). That’s an important part of democracy, and we should not take it for granted in an era when Trump continues to claim voter fraud in every race his side loses (and even some he wins).

I’ve been very nervous about 2024, and remain nervous. But I think things look a bit brighter than they did before yesterday’s elections.

More when all the results are in and final….

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