In a much-criticized press conference, President Biden said the legitimacy of the upcoming midterm elections could depend on Democrats passing a federal takeover of elections.
“I’m not saying it’s going to be legit. The increase in the prospect of being illegitimate is in direct proportion to us not being able to get these reforms passed,” Biden said, referring to the 2022 election.
This does not seem accidental. It comes on the heels of Chuck Schumer’s saying about passing Electoral Count Act reforms, ‘That makes no sense. If you’re going to rig the game and say, “Oh, we’ll count the rigged game accurately,” what good is that?’ When the Senate majority leader says our elections are a ‘rigged game’ and the president says ‘it depends’ when asked if he’ll accept the outcome of the upcoming elections, that is a dire sign for the party in power’s respect for democracy.
Perhaps Biden is taking lessons from N.C. Democrats and their allies.
There can be no better example of Democrats and their allies delegitimizing election results than what Carolina Journal exposed through its Extreme Injustice project.
In the NAACP v. Moore case, Democrats and their allies are not trying to delegitimize parts of the 2018 election in this state; they are trying to erase the parts they don’t like.
The argument is that some lawmakers were elected to the legislature from flawed districts, so the 4 million votes cast in favor of photo voter ID and a lower maximum state income tax should be erased. They are not only attempting to nullify the decision of voters to pass these two constitutional amendments by wide margins but to delegitimize all the work of a duly elected General Assembly.
North Carolina and other states have battled about redistricting in the courts for decades. Never has a state or federal court declared an entire elected legislature “usurpers” and questioned the ability of the legislature to act on behalf of the people.
The Democrat-controlled state Supreme Court will soon decide if the voters’ decision to amend the constitution twice was legitimate or should be nullified.
Add in the Democrats’ efforts to force two Republican Supreme Court justices off the case, against their will. Democrats targeted Justices Tamera Barringer and Phil Berger Jr. for forced removals due to flimsy conflict-of-interest allegations.
Once exposed, Democrat justices backed off this scheme. Still, the effort to nullify the 2018 votes to amend the constitution and the 2020 votes that elected Barringer and Berger shows the Democrats’ willingness to consider inflicting extreme injustice on the people of North Carolina
In December 2018, Gov. Roy Cooper vetoed the photo voter identification law designed to implement the procedure after voters just one month before passed the voter ID constitutional amendment with 55% support. Voter ID advocates beat critics by more than 405,000 votes. If Cooper respected the voters and saw their passage of the amendment as legitimate, he would have signed the measure or returned the bill to the legislature with specific instructions on how to correct what he saw as flaws in the implementation law. Instead, he stated that the idea of voter ID was racist.
“Requiring photo IDs for in-person voting is a solution in search of a problem. Instead, the real election problem is votes harvested illegally through absentee ballots, which this proposal fails to fix,” wrote Cooper in his veto message. “Finally, the fundamental flaw in the bill is its sinister and cynical origins: It was designed to suppress the rights of minority, poor, and elderly voters.”
If you want to build confidence in voting, you don’t ignore the expressed will of the voters, block voter ID from going into place, and call the 2,049,121 N.C. citizens who voted for the measure racist.
For elections to be viewed as legitimate by all sides, you have a clear set of rules, determined well in advance of the elections, and both sides are equally held accountable for following those rules.
If you want to cast doubt on the legitimacy of elections, you change election laws in the middle of the game. Cooper and Attorney General Josh Stein conspired with mega-Democrat elections attorney Marc Elias to change North Carolina’s election law during the early voting period in 2020, without legislative input.
The secret settlement entered by Cooper and Stein on behalf of the N.C. State Board of Elections and Elias/Democratic-aligned activist groups rewrote state election laws while absentee voting was underway.
The changes included expanded absentee by-mail voting, eliminating witness requirements and signature verification for mailed ballots, establishing “drop boxes” for completed ballots, and extending the deadline for mailed ballots to arrive at county boards of election.
The “collusive” sue-and-settle move shocked GOP legislators because, although they were a party to the lawsuit, they were not informed about the agreement. It was only after a judge signed off on the agreement that lawmakers became aware of it.
This controversy engulfed N.C. politics before the 2020 elections for good reasons. It continues to foster conspiracy theories and literally caused a significant number of people to question the outcome of both the governor’s and attorney general’s races. We hear from people who hold these views often.
When Republicans took control of the General Assembly for the first time in more than 100 years in 2010, Democrats could not blame the election districts. They had drawn them. Since then, they have constantly pointed to gerrymandering to undermine the legitimacy of Republicans in the General Assembly and the elections that put and kept them in power over six straight elections.
Since taking control Republicans have lost redistricting lawsuits, mostly when courts constantly changed the rules on redistricting. Nonetheless, Republicans have lost lawsuits on redistricting. When Democrats were in charge, they lost redistricting lawsuits, too. However, Republicans did not constantly make the case that Democrats controlling the legislature were illegitimate “usurpers.”
This is not to say that former President Trump and some of his allies have not done their part to delegitimize election results, even in places with little or no evidence of serious contest-changing issues.
But Republicans and Trump are being held to account for this by the media and by voters. As they should.
It is time for Democrats and their allies to be held to account for delegitimizing elections as well.