“Election Denial Can’t Overcome Election Certification Protections”

Lauren Miller:

Election certification has long been an unfamiliar term to most Americans, and for good reason. Certification, the statutory process by which officials sign off on the accuracy and completion of election results, usually serves as an important but drama-free formality carried out after the excitement of an election winds down.

Then came the 2020 election and its false claims of widespread voter fraud. On January 6, insurrectionists supporting President Trump stormed the Capitol in an attempt to stop Congress from certifying the election results. Despite the attack, certification ultimately proceeded as planned. And nearly two years later, Congress succeeded in passing reforms that will make it more difficult for partisan actors to manipulate the process of counting the Electoral College votes for president. But as my co-author Will Wilder and I explain in a new article in the Stanford Law & Policy Review, attacks on certification did not end after January 6 — they merely shifted to the local and state level.

Cochise County, Arizona, provides a prime recent example. In November 2022, the county’s board of supervisors voted against certifying the county’s general election returns, citing vague concerns that the county’s voting machines could not be trusted. But later, one of the supervisors admitted that their refusal to certify was really a protest against the election in nearby Maricopa County, where a ballot printing error ignited a firestorm of conspiracy theories that the glitch resulted in mass election fraud….

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