Attorney lays out the disturbing ways Trump and his allies will try to steal the election

Attorney lays out the disturbing ways Trump and his allies will try to steal the election
Image via Screengrab / USA Today.
Election '20

Although President Donald Trump has been trailing former Vice President Joe Biden in poll after poll, a lot could happen between now and Election Day. Attorney Dmitri Mehlhorn, in an article for the conservative website The Bulwark, stresses that while Trump and his Republican allies might “use normal tactics to win outright or make the race closer,” there is also the possibility that they will find ways to steal the election — and Mehlhorn lays out some troubling possibilities.

One of them, according to Mehlhorn, is that Trump will “use openly authoritarian tactics to keep power.”

“Trump has doubled down on his lies about vote-by-mail security and suggested that those concerns demand a delay of the election,” Mehlhorn explains. “This suggestion led Steven Calabresi — the arch-conservative co-founder of the Federalist Society who voted for Trump in 2016, attacked the Mueller investigation and spoke out against impeachment — to write in the New York Times, ‘I am frankly appalled by the president’s recent tweet seeking to postpone the November election.’”

Another possibility, Mehlhorn warns, is “violent voter suppression.”

“Since the 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, right-wing militia groups have organized online and in-person to harass and intimidate domestic critics of President Trump,” Mehlhorn observes. “In addition, for the first time in four decades, the GOP is legally allowed to spend tens of millions of dollars to deploy tens of thousands of ‘poll watchers’ — recruiting especially off-duty soldiers and law enforcement — to intimidate voters in cities and in communities of color by threatening them with arrests and fines for voting ‘improperly.’”

Mehlhorn goes on to warn that “these tactics — the far-right militia groups in camo, and the off-duty cops as ‘poll watchers’” — could “be augmented by Department of Homeland Security agents authorized for deployment by Attorney General Bill Barr. Some observers believe that the federal law enforcement ‘surge’ into cities such as Detroit, Cleveland and Milwaukee is designed to prepare for vote suppression in cities and among voters of color.”

Pro-Trump Republicans, according to Mehlhorn, might try to “disqualify provisional and mail-in ballots” in the hope of “handing their states’ electoral votes to Trump.” Other things to watch out for, he warns, range from “hostile foreign or private actors (that) could affect the outcome” to “Republican state executives delaying the vote counting.”

“Even if the state legislature does not directly intervene,” Mehlhorn explains, “the Republican governors of critical swing states — Florida, Arizona, Ohio, Georgia, Texas — could try to intervene to slow their state’s vote count or to prevent their state from sending any electors to the Electoral College. Again, the pretext for this intervention would be bad-faith complaints about vote security and integrity — which, again, the president is already making.”

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