Tribune Opinion: America's voters have spoken, time to focus on critical needs
Summary: America’s voters have spoken in 2020. It’s time to remember that Democrats and Republicans are both Americans, not each other’s enemy. Now we must focus on America’s biggest challenges, especially the continuing coronavirus pandemic and its impact upon Americans and their jobs.
Election 2020 is over in Minnesota for the most part, with the exception of a few close races, such as the Kandiyohi County Board District 2 race. Across the nation, several states are still counting votes in the presidential election and other races. In Georgia, for example, the presidential results are headed for an automatic recount and the state’s two U.S. Senate races are headed for a Jan. 5 runoff election.
In reality, the election 2020 is over in most cases and it is time to move on to a greater challenge. There is a major pandemic facing America, which is taking more lives every day.
Donald Trump has made a bellicose pledge to fight the presidential vote outcome in the courts, despite daunting Electoral College disadvantages and a lack of evidence to support his claims of fraud.
Trump’s constant attack on mail-in voting and encouraging his supporters to vote in-person on Election Day turned into a major disadvantage. Democrats appeared to vote in record numbers in early voting, ballots that in a number of Republican-led states were not allowed to be counted early. This resulted in longer vote-counting in some states due to said delayed vote counting starts combined with the high-voter volume.
The president has a right to file as many lawsuits as his campaign desires. So far a dozen lawsuits filed have gained little traction in the courts.
Republicans will have to be careful about following Trump’s fraudulent vote claims that may come back to bite them. Trump’s claims are not really designed to change the election results, but aimed at keeping his base of supporters on his side, even in defeat.
Frankly, there never has been a presidential election in recent memory where there was significant voter fraud, and when it does occur, the individuals are often caught and prosecuted. The amount of such cases has not been significant enough to change the outcome of the respective elections.
We congratulate Congresswoman-elect Michelle Fischbach on her 7th District win over Collin Peterson. However, her statements Friday pushing an election fraud conspiracy theory and her claim that Democrats “didn’t win the votes of the American people, they’re just finding votes at this point” were both harmful and ill-advised. She was still campaigning to her base.
It’s simply un-American to attack the basis of American democracy without credible evidence.
The Republican U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania — whose state was a key battleground state in Election 2020 — called the president’s claim of voter fraud “very disturbing.” Utah U.S. Sen. Mitt Romney, the GOP’s 2012 presidential nominee, tweeted that Trump’s “rigged” election allegation “recklessly inflames destructive and dangerous passions.”
Minnesota Republican Party Chairwoman Jennifer Carnahan accepted Joe Biden’s decisive win in Minnesota and stressed the importance of confidence in America’s election process. Yet she sent out fund-raising emails seeking help for Trump’s lawsuits.
In the battleground states of Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Nevada, election officials — both Democrat and Republican — have stated they have not seen widespread voting irregularities, no major instances of fraud or illegal activity.
In 2020, the higher votes in the right states mattered, just as they did in the 2016 election.
In 2016 when Trump won the popular votes in crucial battleground states while losing the overall popular vote — 62.9 million votes to Hillary Clinton’s 65.8 million votes, he won the Electoral College vote 304 to 227 and was elected president.
In 2020, Biden won the popular vote with 75.6 million vote total, the highest amount ever in United States history, to Trump’s 71.2 million votes. But Biden flipped Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin — states Trump won in 2016 — and kept Minnesota, Nevada and New Hampshire, reaching an Electoral College total so far of 279 to Trump’s 214. The four remaining states of Alaska, Arizona, Georgia and North Carolina do not have enough electoral votes for Trump to reach the 270 magic number.
America’s voters have spoken in 2020. It’s time to remember that Democrats and Republicans are both Americans, not each other’s enemy. Now we must focus on America’s biggest challenges, especially the continuing coronavirus pandemic and its impact upon Americans and their jobs.
This editorial is the opinion of the West Central Tribune Editorial Board, consisting of publisher Steve Ammermann and editor Kelly Boldan.