12/21 The Difference Between Fact and Fiction

Published: 12.21.20

With the January 5th Senate run-off in Georgia inching closer and Congress set to confirm the Electoral College votes on January 6th, President Trump’s attempts to undermine the will of the people continue.

Tomorrow, VPP Advisory Board member Sheriff Peter Koutoujian and VPP partner and Legal Director at the Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection Mary McCord will join our partners at Fair Fight for a press call with Georgia and national leaders to discuss voter and poll worker safety for the January 5 runoff election.

As a reminder, for the next two weeks, our updates will be shared weekly on Mondays.

National Update

It’s the Coup Attempt that Never Ends: President Donald Trump’s attempts to overturn the 2020 presidential election results continued over the weekend with a new petition to the U.S. Supreme Court. The petition seeks to reverse a trio of Pennsylvania Supreme Court cases related to mail-in ballots and asks the court to allow the Pennsylvania General Assembly to pick its slate of electors — yet another move to reject the will of voters.

While the prospect of the highest court in the land throwing out the results of a democratic election based on unfounded charges of voter fraud is highly unlikely, it still wouldn’t change the outcome, because President-elect Joe Biden won the Electoral College by more than the 20 votes that Pennsylvania cast for him.  Read more here.

There’s No There There, Says Barr: Attorney General Bill Barr further undercut the President’s efforts to overturn the election this morning when he said there was no need to appoint a special counsel to investigate election fraud. Pressed by reporters on a special counsel investigation, voter fraud, and talk of seizing voting machines, Barr offered little support for any such moves. Read more here.

The Difference Between Fact and Fiction: At a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing last week, Chairman Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) declared that it is “not sustainable” for a large proportion of Americans to believe the election results are illegitimate, yet then went on to justify the false beliefs by discussing debunked attacks on the election’s integrity.  As a response to Johnson and other GOP leaders continuing to entertain false narratives, the Washington Post Editorial Board expressed today,Republicans are inaugurating a new, dangerous era in which political parties may refuse to acknowledge election results merely because they dislike the choices voters made. The damage is twofold: Dignifying fake claims of widespread election irregularities shreds confidence in democracy, destabilizing the nation’s politics and encouraging potentially violent resistance to duly elected leaders.” Read the piece here.

VPP Leaders Update: President-elect Biden nominated former VPP Advisory Board Member and two-term Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm to serve as the next secretary of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Read more here.

State Updates

Legislative Battles Ahead: Although the Trump campaign’s claims in court have failed to overturn President-elect Biden’s win, legislative majorities in some of the hardest-fought states are discussing new rules and plans to suppress votes in future elections. GOP leaders in Pennsylvania are considering ending absentee voting rules they backed just a year ago. Georgia’s Senate majority says they want to “fix” the state’s election system with new restrictions. Legislative leaders in Wisconsin want to change early-voting procedures. And new rules have been floated in Texas. Read more here.

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