A CALL FOR A PRUDENT PAUSE BEFORE DECLARING A WINNER
By KELLY TSHIBAKA
A house divided cannot stand. Today, our nation’s deep divisions threaten the integrity of the house our founding fathers risked their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor to design and build.
Months of violence, riots and destruction have ravaged our national house, which beltway pundits and politicians have characterized as a noble pursuit of social justice.
Even Kamala Harris and Joe Biden campaign staffers were complicit in the carnage by helping bail out rioters who had been arrested for the destruction and looting of minority-owned businesses in Minneapolis and St. Paul.
Now, after our national election, Biden is encouraging peace and unity, but many of his supporters are continuing their divisive and destructive campaign.
Brandon Friedman, a columnist for the New York Daily News, called Trump supporters “deplorables” and discouraged reconciling with them. Michael Simon, who previously served in President Obama’s administration, is leading an effort to catalog all Trump supporters and hold them accountable. Wajahat Ali, a columnist for the New York Times, tweeted, “[The GOP] have to be broken, burned down and rebuilt. When Biden is in power treat them like the active threats to democracy they are. If those who committed crimes aren’t punished then they will be more emboldened.”
The foundations of our national house are imperiled by the divisive path Biden’s supporters continue to pursue.
As of Tuesday, Nov. 10, some 48% of Americans had voted for President Trump, and the counting continues. That is a substantial number of “deplorable” Americans to “break,” “burn down,” “punish” and “catalog” for exercising their right to vote.
The percentage of Americans voting for Trump also is not the substantial Biden victory many pollsters predicted. In fact, as of Tuesday night, in the 4 swing states of Arizona, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Georgia, there were less than 91,000 votes separating Biden and Trump. Indeed, the numbers are so close that even the political news site Real Clear Politics has retracted its decision that Biden is the president-elect.
In short, at this juncture, the election officially (and legally) remains undetermined. Tensions are high, tempers are flaring, and our political fault lines run deep.
But both Biden and Trump supporters can change the narrative; they still can restore a sense of national unity in which diversity of thought and differences of opinion result in healthy dialogues and debates, not in division and discord. As a starting point, Biden supporters can join Trump supporters in calling for election integrity.
Americans in both major parties are willing to accept the outcome of elections, if they believe the process was fair and election laws were followed.
Unfortunately, because of the many credible allegations and documented incidents of fraud, voter oppression, and voting irregularities, half the country is skeptical of the media’s premature announcement that Biden is our president-elect.
The sad reality is that whether Biden or Trump is officially declared the winner of this election, half the American people will never accept the result, unless the credible allegations of fraud, voter suppression, and voting irregularities are thoroughly investigated and resolved.
For example, we must address the credible claims that Republican election monitors were barred from observing ballot counting in several states; that Pennsylvania election officials defied law and a court order requiring them to allow Republican poll watchers to observe the ballot counting process; that a glitch in a Michigan county voting software program resulted in 6,000 Trump votes being tallied as Biden votes (that same system was used in more than 40 other Michigan counties and in roughly 30 states).
We must address claims that, according to a sworn affidavit by a Michigan poll worker, election officials instructed her and other poll workers to backdate thousands of absentee ballots; that, according to a Michigan poll challenger, tens of thousands of unsecured and unsealed ballots arrived in vehicles with out-of-state license plates after the election deadline, and all of them were attributed to Democratic candidates; and that thousands of deceased and former residents voted in swing states, including over 11,000 voters in Michigan who were deceased or 100+ years old, but not listed as living centenarians.
For the sake of unity and peace in our nation, and for the sake of preserving the integrity of our democracy and electoral process, both Biden and Trump supporters should join in calling for a prudent pause in declaring a winner until these myriad matters are adjudicated and resolved. This is a significant moment, one in which “We the People” can model for our leaders what it means to be a house united.
My hope and prayer are that Americans, and Alaskans, of all political persuasions will move forward together, honoring the rule of law and supporting a peaceful, transparent, and just resolution of this election controversy. That is how our house divided can once again become a house, and a nation, united.
The views expressed here are the writer’s in her personal capacity and do not reflect her role as the Commissioner of the Department of Administration.