Many people across the country felt unsettled when several dozen electors attempted to overturn President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 presidential election despite multiple swing state recounts and court proceedings weakening the President-elect’s claim to victory. While many argued that this attempt was a necessary endeavor to enforce transparency within the electoral process, the effort ultimately left a bitter taste in the mouths of those who understood that the election results should be respected regardless of who the winner was.
In an effort to ensure fairness and credibility in elections, it is highly important that the results are not overturned: not only would doing so be a disservice to the millions of voters who participated and funded the election, but it would also send a dangerous message that efforts to upset election results could be successful in the future. Overturning election results sets a precedent that undermines trust in the electoral system, ultimately making it difficult for candidates to legitimately win future elections. What’s more, it could make the election process increasingly unpredictable as candidates would be unsure of the outcome. If a precedent is set that allows electors to overturn election results, it could lead to greater distrust within the political system and in elected leaders.
While some argued that overturning the election was necessary to restore trust in our electoral system, the reality is that overturning an election makes it more difficult for the American public to trust in legitimate democratic processes, especially in light of how the 2020 election unfolded. It is essential that we take steps to ensure that the U.S. electoral processes remain credible, free from tampering, and reflect the democratic will of the people. It is far worse to overturn an election than to simply accept the results and move on. We must remain vigilant in our efforts to ensure trust in American democracy by respecting the election results and the vast number of citizens who participated in it.