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Voters of All Stripes Fear 2020 Election Hijinks

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Only 22% of Americans believe tomorrow's election will be "free and fair," according to a September Yahoo News/YouGov poll. (LAWJR/Pixabay)
Only 22% of Americans believe tomorrow's election will be "free and fair," according to a September Yahoo News/YouGov poll. (LAWJR/Pixabay)
November 2, 2020

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- Unless there's a landslide for one of the presidential candidates tomorrow, Americans will go to bed uncertain of the winner.

And that has many fearing a "stolen election." A stolen election has been compared with fixing a deck of cards, where one player is guaranteed to come out on top.

Nils Gilman, vice president for programs at the Berggruen Institute, and co-founder of the Transition Integrity Project, said it is unfortunate President Donald Trump has sown doubt about the election process, telling supporters if he loses it means the election was rigged.

Gilman encouraged voters to remain calm and said the media needs to be vigilant should either candidate declare victory before all the votes are counted.

"It's going to take days and maybe even weeks for all of the relevant ballots to be counted," Gilman emphasized. "And we need to be patient with that. That's the normal process. It just takes time; 10 or 11 weeks between Election Day and Inauguration Day is to allow that process to play out."

Trump also has made it clear he hopes states won't be allowed to count ballots after Election Day, which is a normal part of the electoral process.

If the courts agree with Trump, it would be a game-changer because a record-breaking number of Americans are voting by mail due to the coronavirus pandemic.

As of last Friday, 90 million Americans had already participated in early voting, and that does not include absentee ballots.

But some of those absentee ballots, especially in swing states, may not arrive in time to be counted.

That's because mail delivery has significantly slowed since a new Postmaster, a close ally of Trump, assumed the role six months ago. Gilman said that possibility should concern all voters.

"Democracy's about so much more than just voting," Gilman asserted. "It's about a commitment to a process, and a commitment to the integrity of that process. And right now it's not clear that there's commitment to the integrity of the process on the part of the GOP."

In New Mexico several groups, including RepresentUs New Mexico and Indivisible Santa Fe are working with national groups to ensure an "organized, peaceful, popular and firm stand in support of democracy."

Support for this reporting was provided by The Carnegie Corporation of New York.

Roz Brown, Public News Service - NM