CLC President: Trump’s Attempt to Overturn Election Results Is Antidemocratic and Unacceptable

Donald Trump walks along a row of columns with Mike Pence behind him.
President Donald J. Trump, joined by Vice President Mike Pence, walks to a news conference Friday, March 13, 2020, in the Rose Garden of the White House. Official White House Photo by D.Myles Cullen.

President Trump has reached out directly to Republican state legislators from Michigan and invited them to the White House on Friday for discussions as the state prepares to certify President-elect Joe Biden, who won the state by over 145,000 votes.

The certification of election results is a formality – the public announcement of what the voters did at the ballot box in the election. In a republican democracy, the basic principle – win or lose – is that the people decide elections. The right to vote is not theater: by law in every state, the voters in those states determine their slate of electors, not state legislatures.

Trump has added to his cynical efforts to delegitimize the election by now actively interfering in the process of certifying the victory for the duly elected President of the United States.

As a basic principal of representative government, it is simply wrong for government officials to use the powers they have been temporarily entrusted with by the people in a way that benefits themselves electorally or disadvantages their opponents.

The basic contract between the government and the people is that the people choose its leaders. The voters have spoken.

If the United States is to adhere to its foundational promise that governments derive their powers from the consent of the people, a pressure campaign to deny the certification of election results must be dismissed by Republicans and Democrats alike as antidemocratic and unacceptable.

Trevor is CLC's founder and one of the country's top election lawyers.