Editor’s Note: This is a modified version of a commentary originally published Dec. 6. As with all commentaries published in The Ithacan, the opinions expressed are solely those of the author.
An archeologist finds a bone and says, “Hey, there might be dinosaurs.” People say they’re just bones.
With President Donald Trump leading in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Arizona and Nevada on Nov. 3, many Republicans slept happily. But after absentee ballots rolled in, the media announced Joe Biden as president-elect. This caused some unrest among Republicans. However, there have been some positives for the party, with Republicans gaining seats in the U.S. House of Representatives and likely holding their Senate majority.
This election demands scrutiny. In November, there were 2,600 in-person votes that were uncounted in Floyd County, Georgia. Election workers rescanned approximately 8,000 votes to resolve the problem, and the Floyd County Board of Elections and Voter Registration fired its executive director after the incident. Although this case was attributed to human error, the conversation must be open to see if this happened in other counties across the nation — questioning, and possibly changing, the electoral outcome.
As seen in the past, the country’s election system isn’t perfect. In June 2020 in Paterson, New Jersey, Councilman Bill McKoy filed a lawsuit over ballot tampering in a city council election. Postal workers found hundreds of ballots bundled together. Two councilmen were accused of delivering mail-in ballots that were not theirs and of submitting voter registration applications for people who were ineligible to vote. A judge declared that there needed to be a new election.
Similarly, an illegal ballot scheme was discovered in Raleigh, North Carolina in February 2019, involving signature forgery. Over 1,000 absentee ballots were involved in the scheme for congressional candidate Mark Harris (NC-9). While these ballots had minor effects on results, Republicans and Democrats questioned how trustworthy their election was. Harris led the race by 905 votes against his Democratic opponent, Dan McCready. The Grand Old Party held North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District for approximately half a century. Instances of voter fraud are a bipartisan issue. Ruling this out would be naive because we saw it in the past under circumstances different from COVID-19 mail-in voting.
Similar to what we are seeing in Texas and other states joining recent filings, Republicans won’t and shouldn’t concede without first fighting. Trump’s supporters won’t rest without giving up a fight, like former Vice President Al Gore did in 2000. Democrats regret Gore choosing to stop fighting. Gore won the popular vote in the election, but Florida was key to winning the presidency. This is why Trump’s base, including myself, supports his fight. We are living in a time when people ignore history unless it fits their narrative. Even though fighting in courts may not determine different outcomes, our system is manipulated. The Heritage Foundation has an election fraud database of 1,200 proven cases, raising questions about voter fraud. Ballots are disenfranchised by fraud. This year doesn’t need to be like that.
Although the media declared Biden as the election winner, there are positives in the Republican party from this election that outweigh this.
The GOP freshman class is the party’s most diverse ever. With House gains, at least 17 GOP women join the 117th Congress. Two Black Republicans — Byron Donalds (FL-19) and Burgess Owens (UT-4), who is a former NFL player — joined Congress. Nancy Mace (SC-1) is the first congresswoman to graduate from The Military College of South Carolina, known as The Citadel. Michelle Park Steel (CA-48) and Young Kim (CA-39) are two of the three Korean-American women in Congress. Victoria Spartz (IN-5) is the first Ukraine-born representative. Carlos A. Gimenez (FL-26) served nine years as mayor of Miami-Dade County. Additionally, zero Republican incumbents in the House lost reelection and all Democrat incumbents lost to a woman or minority congressperson. The polls had Democrats gaining 10–15 seats and Republicans were drastically outspent. Instead, Republicans will gain at least 10 seats, with two still uncalled.
Within Congress, I see a potential political star in Madison Cawthorn (NC-11). Cawthorn, 25, is the third youngest person in U.S. Congress history. He’s shown throughout his life that he is a fighter after becoming partially paralyzed from a car accident in 2014. He plans to combat unfavorable liberal policies promoted by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Nancy Pelosi, speaker of the House.
This election rejected Trump, not the GOP. With Supreme Court control, and hopefully the Senate, Biden would accomplish little other than possibly pulling America out of the pandemic. Even if the media’s right and Biden won, Republicans won this election, flipping House seats and keeping Senate seats. The polls projecting Democrat gains were wrong again.