The Trump campaign finally overcame one of its challenges yesterday as it was given a judicial access order and forensic examination of around two dozen Dominion voting machines. The machines are located in rural Antrim County, where President-elect Joe Biden was initially given around 6,000 votes, which were then corrected and tabulated in favor of President Donald Trump. Four weeks ago, we discussed this controversy and concern that such recognized human error might occur in other districts. Judge Kevin Elsenheimer’s order, however, does not concern the presidential election, but rather the recount of ballot papers in a marijuana proposal for a village.
Though voter William Bailey’s challenge concerned legalized marijuana, Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani proclaimed a big win for “BIG WIN FOR HONEST ELECTIONS”.
The actual order concerns a recount of the marijuana proposal in the village of Central Lake, which was passed with one vote. However, it will allow critics to first crack Dominion machines to justify their claims of manipulating votes.
For weeks I have been skeptical of the campaign challenges, but also of the Biden campaign, for resisting such efforts to investigate these allegations. There were illegal orders and voting irregularities. The problem for the Trump campaign was identifying systemic errors or fraud that would undo any of those state elections. There is also the problem of “sticker shock” in attempting to block certification of state votes. Eventually the election campaign was obstructed in order to gain access to evidence and machines that are in the possession of election officials.
I’m not happy about the order because I think it will likely uncover a problem. Not me. Rather, polls show that up to 90 percent of Republicans, and even quite a number of Democrats, believe they question the legitimacy of this election. With around 74 million votes for President Trump, such doubts are dangerous for this country, which is still a virtual powder keg. The best option is closer scrutiny and transparency.
We had leadership errors on both sides. President Trump has fueled the anger by not looking for challenges as to what is his right. He is furious by declaring the election “stolen” and “rigged” and declaring incumbent officials like Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger the “enemy of the people”. President-elect Biden failed to see that the divisions in this country could not be resolved, even partially, without closer examination. He should have declared immediately that his campaign would not reject any judicial review of all election challenges.
Many of these cases have been dismissed due to standing, laughing, or other threshold issues. This arrangement will reassure skeptical voters that access to evidence has been granted. It won’t convince many if problems are not found, but it might convince some. Otherwise we will have the same unadulterated anger of the past four years.
Therefore I am pleased with the order and hope that such access can be granted as far as possible in the future. Otherwise we are seeing an extraordinarily destructive and even dangerous time in our history.