The voting public needs to be confident that in our state, and in our nation, we hold free and fair elections. That is why the Arizona Republican Party is doing everything we can to ensure voters trust that a free process leads to fair results.
The media pollsters this cycle were terribly wrong, about which I have written previously. The published polls seemed more like an attempt to discourage Republican voters instead of take the pulse of the electorate.
But while the polling showed one thing, other indicators reflected a sentiment that President Trump had a distinct advantage going into Election Day. Betting odds favored President Trump’s re-election. The Trump campaign had a massive grassroots mobilization effort including phone calling and boots-on-the-ground door knocking.
While the Biden-Harris camp hid behind the shadow of the coronavirus as a reason to barely campaign, President Trump held massive rallies across many states where people turned out in spite of pandemic fears. In contrast, the Biden campaign struggled to mobilize any sort of crowds, even socially isolated in vehicles.
Even in overwhelmingly blue states such as California and New York, Biden received 64 and 61 percent of the vote respectively. Yet they are expected to accept that 76 percent of mail-in ballots in Pennsylvania favored Joe Biden?
That sounds fair to the same media that would have us believe so-called statisticians such as Nate Silver, who predicted Trump had a 36 percent chance of winning North Carolina this year. All along, the Trump camp was predicting a tight election with the president eventually prevailing.
The American public is tired of being deceived by so-called news outlets more concerned with their narrative than the facts. These are the outlets that showed graphics detailing the “fiery but mostly peaceful protests” while the scene over the reporter’s shoulder showed cars on fire and violent unrest.
These same producers and reporters are asking us to believe that the lackluster Joe Biden received millions of more votes than Barack Obama, the most inspirational Democratic presidential candidate of this generation. That is a tough sell.
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Rasmussen, one of the few pollsters to show accuracy this cycle, conducted a post-election poll. Two weeks before the election, 94 percent of voters expressed confidence that their vote would be correctly recorded and counted, with 73 percent saying it was “very likely.” After the election, that number dropped to 71 percent overall and only 47 percent “very likely.”
That is a serious drop, and it’s indicative of deeper concern in the electorate than is being adequately respected by the public at large.
If you think this is a problem isolated to Republicans, think again. Thirty percent of Democrats (20 percent “very likely,” 10 percent “somewhat likely”) believe the election was stolen from Trump. Those are not all Trump voters; if 30 percent of Democrats had voted for Trump it would have been a massive landslide for the president.
As Willis Krumholz at The Federalist pointed out, American voters on both sides of the aisle mistrust the fundamental integrity of our elections.
A 2018 Gallup poll showed 78 percent of Democrats still believed that Russia interfered in the 2016 election and changed the outcome. This is despite years of investigations that only managed to show a $100,000 social media buy which would have had no chance of changing the election.
This year, Republicans have a sinking feeling in their stomach about the 2020 election. They see anomalies similar to those observers saw in the Gabon elections in 2016.
After the 2016 and 2018 elections, the media gladly reported the accusations of Hillary Clinton and Stacey Abrams. Yet today, anyone asking to look into the 2020 election process is deemed unworthy of attention, and worse, worthy of ridicule.
But in the weeks after Election Day, we’ve spoken with concerned Republicans about their unease. These aren’t the politically involved, but the rank-and-file supporters who show up on Election Day and live their lives devoid of politics the rest of the time. They don’t show up for rallies or join in with the #HashtagActivism on social media.
They’re now openly wondering if we have sunk to the level of third-world countries in how we administer our elections, however.
In the days after the election, we’ve sought to ensure people trust our process, this year and every year. That should not be a partisan goal. Many changes were made to our electoral processes this year using the pandemic as an excuse. Following up with simple yet effective cross-checks is not too much to ask as we try to boost voter confidence.