Think Democrats are not concerned about claims of election fraud? Then you’re not paying attention. Just look at the past two months.
They impeached former President Donald Trump, as the articles of impeachment stated because he “repeatedly issued false statements asserting that the Presidential election results were the product of widespread fraud and should not be accepted by the American people.”
They have attempted to blackmail cable companies and streaming services into removing networks, including Fox News, for reporting on such assertions about rigged elections as those made by Trump and his allies.
And they are close to passing a massive overhaul of creative election reform that would grant federal authority over elections and up-end more than two centuries of states’ rights to control voting.
Yet why are Speaker Nancy Pelosi and these same Democrats, who want us to believe they care so much about the legitimacy of our elections, threatening to toss a duly elected Republican out of Congress?
The short answer is because they can.
In Iowa last fall, Republican Mariannette Miller-Meeks won the 2nd Congressional District election by six votes over Democrat Rita Hart.
Hart, unlike Trump, did in his own election, bypassed the appeal process through the courts spelled out in Iowa state law, and went directly to Pelosi and the Democratic majority in the House to ask that the election be overturned.
Under the Constitution, Congress has the authority to determine who is seated.
Hart claims 22 votes were not properly counted. If so, she said, she would win by nine votes.
Still, the state of Iowa certified Miller-Meeks’ victory. And as Democrats told us in December, in reference to Trump’s claims, once states certify the results, it’s game over.
As The New York Times explained once the nation reached December’s “safe harbor” deadline, the point at which all state challenges had to be adjudicated, “election results that have been certified by the states are now considered conclusive.”
But when power is at stake, the last thing Democrats do is go quietly.
Pelosi, of course, has no good answer as to why she and not judges in Iowa, should settle this dispute.
On ABC News on Sunday, host George Stephanopoulos referenced a comment by Ohio Republican Rep. Jim Jordan, who tweeted: “Speaker Pelosi says she’s open to unseating Republican Congresswoman Miller-Meeks. Translation, you’re only allowed to object to an election if you’re a Democrat.”
He then asked why Democrats are investigating an election already certified by the state.
In reply, Pelosi said, “Well, it was six votes. It was six votes, and our candidate Rita Hart, the Democratic candidate asked for this process to begin. … An election of six votes out of 400,000 votes cast.
This is not unique,” she added. “This has happened … before when races had been close one side or the other is saying, ’Let’s – let’s take it to the House.’ … We can count the votes. Six votes out of 400,000 cast.”
Pelosi added, “For them to call anybody hypocritical about elections when two-thirds of them in the House voted against accepting the presidency of Joe Biden is – well, it’s just who they are.”
Nothing about respecting the state, the process, or the wishes of its voters. Just because “we can count the votes.”
In December 2018, the lefty website FiveThirtyEight.com discussed a congressional race in North Carolina a month earlier where allegations of fraud ran rampant and wondered what Congress might do. Congress never got the chance. Because of the process, the state elections board overturned the outcome and ordered a new vote.
FiveThirtyEight.com observed, “They’re far less common nowadays, but the House has a long history with contested elections.” The website pointed to a 2018 study that looked at that from 1789 to 2012. In all, the House heard complaints about results in 594 elections at that time.
Yet the study found that as elections equipment and monitoring improved, the challenges decreased. For example, only 24 of those challenges were filed between 1979 and 2012. In contrast, 85 challenges were submitted between 1889 and 1898.
Moreover, the last time the House voted to overturn an election was back in 1985. Then, the Democratic-led House recognized Democratic Rep. Frank McCloskey as the winner by four votes after an investigation such as what Miller-Meeks faces, and even though a “handful” of absentee votes remained uncounted, over GOP objections, FiveThirtyEight.com reported.
That fit with the one consistent phenomenon in the study, the website noted:
“What they found was that although the number of contested elections had decreased, votes by the House to decide contested elections remained partisan over time. That is, whatever the merits of the dispute, if a contested election came to a vote, GOP-controlled Houses generally sided with GOP candidates while Democratic Houses backed Democratic candidates.”
The author added that after Democrats declared McCloskey the winner, “Republicans staged a walkout in response, and the entire episode is often cited as an inflection point in creating a more partisan and rancorous atmosphere in Washington.”
Biden preached “unity” and harmony and those on his own side are the ones ignoring him most.
Pelosi, if she overturns the Iowa election, will surely see the spirit of 1985 reborn, on steroids.