The Election Reform Movement Begins on January 6th and States Must Lead the Way

This week promises to be a tumultuous one in the nation’s capital, culminating Wednesday, January 6th when some Republican members of the House and Senate will object to the certification of electoral college votes from several key states.

The outcome of this procedure is quite difficult to predict at this point. While there have been similar challenges to electoral college results in past elections -including by Democrats in 2004 and 2016- none has had as much support. Some Republicans, notably Senator Mitt Romney and Representative Liz Cheney, have chosen to oppose President Trump’s last-ditch efforts and disagree with those Republican colleagues challenging the results.

The parliamentary procedures will be a sight to behold no doubt. But regardless of the challenges on January 6th, there will remain significant evidence of irregularities and outright fraud in the 2020 election which must be addressed.

No matter who ends up in the White House the presidential election system must be reformed.  Observing the Georgia State Senate Judiciary Committee’s hearings over last month provided clear evidence that our electoral system requires significant improvements to restore Americans’ trust that votes are going to be counted accurately and fairly and are not susceptible to either foreign or domestic meddling.

It is in the state legislatures -not at the federal level- where this reform must take place. Americans must recognize that presidential elections are not truly national, but rather organized into fifty separate state elections.  America is not a third world country, but it seems as if some states’ voting systems are worse than third world standards.

Reporting has focused on the six so-called “battleground” states where vote tallies were particularly close. But it will not be enough to investigate and correct irregularities in a few battleground states. The battleground states of future elections may be entirely different from those of 2020. All 50 states must move to investigate credible reports of voter fraud and irregularities.  Specifically, state legislatures must exercise their oversight authority to investigate and uncover fraud and other irregularities. Then, those legislatures must act by passing laws to ensure that such flaws do not taint future elections.

America and her constitutional republic are extremely resilient, in large part because federalism spreads responsibility for maintain fair elections to each state. The outcome of a single election will not result in termination of America’s constitutional republic, which has historically weathered hotly contested elections, evidence of fraud, and even the widespread belief that fraud affected the outcome of an election.

But those who fear for our republic have valid concerns, which will only grow if no concentrated effort is made to bring to light the flaws and misbehavior which impacted this election. It is up to state lawmakers to restore trust in and ensure the integrity of our election systems so that 2024 is not clouded in the controversy and potential crisis that we see today.

About Christopher Holton

Christopher Holton is a Senior Analyst and Director of State Outreach at the Center for Security Policy. Mr. Holton came to the Center after serving as president and marketing director of Blanchard & Co. and editor-in-chief of the Blanchard Economic Research Unit from 1990 to 2003