Is Gov. Huckabee right to demand top-to-bottom audit of elections?
- Election Day was Tuesday, November 3, 2020.
- Because of the coronavirus pandemic, the amount of mail-in-ballots skyrocketed. Tensions over mail-in-ballots were high as many believed fraud to come hand-in-hand with absentee voting.
- As of Saturday, November 7, media channels like CNN, PBS, Fox News, and Facebook broadcasted that Biden won the election with 290 electoral votes against Trump’s 214 votes.
- Since Election Day, Trump has refused to concede to Joe Biden, claiming he “will never give up.”
- Wednesday, January 6, Trump supporters rallied on the US Capitol “interrupting challenges to Biden Electoral College victory.”
- Former Gov. Mike Huckabee stated that a “cloud” will be over Biden’s presidency if election fraud allegations are not completely investigated, saying, “[Biden] should demand that we have an absolute top-to-bottom audit.”
In calling for a top-to-bottom audit of the 2020 election, Mike Huckabee ignores the facts and attempts to cast doubt over the free and fair election of Joe Biden. There is simply no reason to do any further accounting of the votes cast or the procedures surrounding early voting, mail-in voting, or other systems that Republicans have only recently been decrying. President Trump and his allies have launched nearly sixty lawsuits, most of which have been denied, withdrawn, or dismissed, and more importantly, not one single instance of voter fraud has been found. These lawsuits were filed at all levels of the judicial system, including the Supreme Court. By suggesting that further audits are necessary, Huckabee is saying that he lacks faith in our judicial system, a frankly dangerous precedent. Further, there have been multiple hand and machine recounts in several states at the Trump campaign's request, all of which have upheld the original counts. By suggesting that further audits are necessary, Huckabee is saying that he also has no faith in our electoral system.
While it is certain that Joe Biden has won the 'most secure election in American history' and will be sworn in, the real danger in Huckabee's desire for an audit is that he is promoting a false narrative at a time when progress and reconciliation are what is really needed. The longer top Republicans like Huckabee continue to pour fuel on the fire of conspiracy theories, the more divided and potentially violent America becomes. President Trump lost the election, and it is time for Republicans to move on.
Governor Huckabee is right to call for a top-to-bottom audit of elections. Transparency and standards are essential to ensure election integrity. 2020 was a reminder that we don’t have a national election with uniform standards; we have fifty individual state elections with varying standards, processes, and technology. The foundation of legitimate vote totals is the ability to ensure that votes have been legally cast. In 2019, an estimated 15 million households moved residences. How many of those people notified their town clerks on the way out of town to cancel their voter registration? It’s not hard to imagine how easy it is for voter rolls to get out-of-date, and consequently, how easy it would be for a voter to request a mail-in ballot from the state they fled, as well as the state where they resettled.
Huckabee’s call for an audit recognizes that public confidence in the most recent election result is low due to numerous reports of poll workers who witnessed inappropriate handling of ballots and lack of required oversight during ballot counting. Additionally, questions have been raised about the methods used to ensure the validity of mail-in ballots, the reliability of the voting machines used, etc.
As Huckabee rightly noted, over the past four years, Congress members have claimed that President Trump was not legitimately elected, accused him of colluding with Moscow, and launched years-long investigations on flimsy and fraudulent evidence. Huckabee is asking Congress to apply the same rigorous standards in ensuring that 2020’s election was conducted fairly to restore Americans’ faith in the result.