CLC President Urges People to Have Faith in Our Country’s Election System

Issues
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A woman places a ballot into a machine while people behind her fill out ballots in voting booths
Rose Tarmichael of Sycamore, IL casts her ballot during the first day of early voting in Illinois at DeKalb County's Legislative Center in Sycamore, IL on Thursday, Sept. 24, 2020. Credit: Mark Black/ZUMA Wire/Alamy Live News

In an interview with CNN, Trevor Potter, the president of Campaign Legal Center (CLC), urged people to have faith that the November General Election would be legitimate by highlighting the systems in place to ensure that every eligible voter’s ballot counts.

Between the COVID-19 pandemic and President Trump’s repeated attacks on the election system, our country will face challenges in the 2020 General Election. The now vacant U.S. Supreme Court seat of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has only added an additional element of uncertainty to this already unprecedented election.

Potter emphasized how Trump is trying to undermine people’s confidence in the election system because he knows that if they vote, they would have the power to reshape our democracy. Focusing on doomsday hypothetical scenarios makes people more pessimistic and suppresses the vote.

States have preexisting systems in place for counting and certifying ballots. These systems rely on state election officials and members of Congress to ensure the legitimacy of election results, not the Supreme Court or the whims of state legislators as some have suggested recently.

In fact, state legislators would be in violation of federal law as well as the due process clause of the U.S. Constitution if they were to appoint electors after the date that has been set by Congress.

Regardless of the outcome of the election, the most important thing for our country is that everyone trusts that their vote was counted accurately, fairly, and securely. We have an election system that will allow this to happen. Every eligible voter should vote and make their voice heard in our country’s democracy.

Georgia is the 2020 CLC Communications Fellow