When something is over, like it or not, you just have to accept it.
And the 2020 presidential election, like it or not, is over.
As such, Republican members of Congress, including our own Rep. Elise Stefanik, need to do what’s best for the country and their constituents today by voting to accept the results of the Electoral College and make Joe Biden the 46th President of the United States.
To continue this futile effort to raise questions about the outcome, in the face of overwhelming evidence that the results are valid, will further undermine public confidence in our electoral institutions, delegitimize the outcomes of future elections and subvert conscientious bipartisan efforts to improve our system of voting – the cornerstone of our democracy.
Stefanik — a strong Trump supporter whose 21st Congressional District includes much of the North Country and part of Saratoga County —is one of dozens of members of the House of Representatives and about a dozen members of the U.S. Senate who have said they will vote today to challenge the results.
This is largely a symbolic effort designed to show displeasure over the outcome and to highlight irregularities in the voting process.
Her decision, Stefanik said, is based on her concern for the integrity of the electoral process, her belief that every legal ballot should be counted, and on concerns expressed to her by many thousands of people around the country of “unprecedented voting irregularities, unconstitutional overreach by unelected state officials and judges ignoring state election laws, and a fundamental lack of ballot integrity and security.”
There may indeed have been random instances of miscounting, miscalculation and human error — a problem one will usually find to some degree in many elections.
And the covid crisis did introduce an element of haste into the process — and therefore allow some doubt to creep in — through the quick approval of new laws that allowed more Americans to vote by mail and to vote early so as to reduce the spread of the virus.
But the overwhelming evidence points to an election that was conducted fairly and one that provided the proper outcome.
In the past two months since the election, supporters of President Trump advanced dozens of legal challenges to the results across the country, hoping to find any evidence to overturn the results.
These challenges were brought in states administered by both Democrats and Republicans and heard before judges appointed by both Democratic and Republican presidents, including judges appointed by President Trump himself.
In a remarkable 60 of 61 cases so far (98.3%), including one case decided against Trump in Georgia on Tuesday, the courts found no legal justification to alter the results.
Multiple state audits and recounts conducted by Republican and Democratic elections officials reached the same conclusions, as did independent election analysts.
No evidence of mass corruption.
No evidence of mass incompetence by election staff. No evidence that large numbers of ballots were lost or inappropriately destroyed.
No evidence of large numbers of dead people casting ballots. No evidence of large numbers of votes cast by unregistered voters or of legal votes going uncounted.
In fact, for a contest in which more than 155 million votes were cast for president, the 2020 election was remarkably clean and fair.
This is a conclusion reached not just by political opponents of President Trump, but by leading Republicans such as former Attorney General Bill Barr, former GOP presidential candidate Sen. Mitt Romney, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and many others, including most Republican senators.
Yet conspiracy theories persist, given credence by President Trump and by efforts supported by members of Congress like Rep. Stefanik to cast a pall over the results.
No such justifications exist.
Rep. Stefanik should honor and respect the electoral process set forth by our founding fathers by voting to validate the Electoral College results today.
Like it or not, the election is over.
It’s time for all to accept it and allow the country to move forward.