Election law expert lays out a game plan for combating the threat to American democracy
Election law expert Richard L. Hasen, in his articles for the Washington Post and others, has been warning that although the United States “dodged a bullet” when former President Donald Trump’s 2020/early 2021 coup attempt was unsuccessful, it may not be so lucky in the future. And Hasen continues to sound in the alarm in a New York Times op-ed published the day after the January 6, 2021 insurrection’s one-year anniversary.
Hasen argues that dangers that U.S. democracy faces real danger, including “threats of violence and harassment” against “those who administer elections.”
And then there's the very real possibility of Republican election theft.
“Trumpist election administrators and Mr. Trump’s meddling in Republican primaries and gerrymandered Republican legislatures and congressional districts create dangerous electoral conditions,” Hasen warns. “They make it more likely that state legislatures will try to overturn the will of the people — as Mr. Trump unsuccessfully urged in 2020 — and select alternative slates of presidential electors if a Democrat wins in their states in 2024. A Republican majority in the U.S. House of Representatives in 2025 could count the rogue, legislatively submitted slates of presidential electors instead of those fairly reflecting actual election results in the states.”
We came closer to a stolen election in 2020 than many realize.
The election law expert, however, cites some ways in which Democrats can fight back to protect the republic. One is forming a “coalition with the minority of Republicans willing to stand up for the rule of law.” Another is mobilizing “all sectors of society…. in support of free and fair elections,” and Hasan specifically mentions “business groups, civic and professional organizations, labor unions and religious organizations.”
Hasen adds, “Finally, mass, peaceful organizing and protests may be necessary in 2024 and 2025. What happens if a Democratic presidential candidate wins in, say, Wisconsin in 2024, according to a fair count of the vote, but the Wisconsin legislature stands ready to send in an alternative slate of electors for Mr. Trump or another Republican based on unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud or other irregularities? These gerrymandered legislators may not respond to entreaties from Democrats, but they are more likely to respond to widespread public protests made up of people of good faith from across the political spectrum. We need to start organizing for this possibility now.”
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