The leader of the Republican Party’s Cordova Precinct supports President Donald Trump’s legal challenges to election results that indicated a victory for Joe Biden last week. Recounts and audits should be conducted in Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and other states, precinct leader William Deaton said.
“The validity of this election is of utmost importance,” Deaton said. “People say that accuracy is more important than quickness when it comes to elections.”
Across the country, Republicans have complained of problems with secrecy envelopes, postal marks on ballots, the inability of their poll watchers to scrutinize ballots and the extensions granted for mail-in ballots to arrive, the Associated Press reported. Deaton urged Cordova Republicans to continue their activism, whether by organizing rallies, putting up banners or running for public office.
“This election is not over and Joe Biden is not president-elect,” Deaton said. “We do not know the results and we will not know for some time. Do not lose faith.”
Republican lawmakers have been split since Trump announced unsubstantiated allegations that Democrats intentionally engineered widespread election fraud.
“If you count the legal votes, I easily win,” Trump said Thursday, Nov. 5. “If you count the illegal votes, they can try to steal the election from us.”
Many Republicans have remained silent regarding these allegations, while others have come to the president’s defense. Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., stopped short of explicitly endorsing Trump’s claims of pervasive fraud, but declined to recognize Biden as president-elect, offering a blunt defense of the president’s right to legally challenge election results in a Monday, Nov. 9 statement.
“Let’s not have any lectures,” McConnell said. “No lectures about how the president should immediately, cheerfully, accept the preliminary election results from the same characters who just spent four years refusing to accept the validity of the last one.”
A few Republican officials known for criticizing Trump have rejected his claims of widespread fraud. Gov. Larry Hogan, R-Maryland, called Trump’s claims “dangerous” and “embarrassing” in an interview with the AP. Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, said he supported investigations of voting irregularities, but called broader accusations of corruption unfounded.
“He is wrong to say that the election was rigged, corrupt and stolen — doing so damages the cause of freedom here and around the world, weakens the institutions that lie at the foundation of the Republic, and recklessly inflames destructive and dangerous passions,” Romney wrote on Twitter Friday, Nov. 6.
Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, and Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, both acknowledged Biden as president-elect.
Ari Fleischer, former press secretary to George W. Bush, told the AP that Trump was simply saying out loud what most losing candidates say privately.
“Be gentle about Trump’s behavior,” Fleischer said. “When I watched it last night and watched these heads explode I just rolled my eyes … We’ve always been a noisy democracy.”
According to a Reuters/Ipsos poll published Nov. 5, 30 percent of Republicans and 7 percent of Democrats believe that Trump won this year’s election. The same poll found that 70 percent of Democrats and 93 percent of Republicans believe that candidates should not declare victory until all votes are counted.