Election Crime of the Century: Still unresolved
Because every day new evidence of election fraud comes to light, the outcome of the 2020 presidential election remains unresolved. But whether to investigate or prosecute the crime of election fraud should not depend on whether or not the crime determines the outcome of an election. A crime is a crime. Period. It was wrong of AG William Barr to tell FBI agents to only investigate election fraud cases that might impact the outcome of the election. That makes politicians out of policemen.
The span of 2020 election crime ranges from holding raffles to reward people for voting a certain way to using computer technology to shift votes from one candidate to another.
For example: In Nevada, Arizona, Wisconsin, and Minnesota, raffles enticed minorities to come out and vote. Cash prizes, along with tee-shirts, bracelets, and earrings served as inducements to vote. The U.S. Criminal Code says whoever makes or offers to make an expenditure to any person, either to vote or withhold his vote, can be subject to fines and imprisonment.
While we do not know what will happen, we do know what is supposed to happen: By December 8, 2020, each State must decide if all challenges to the popularly elected slate of Electors have been resolved.
Moreover, it is important to understand the U.S. Constitution says State legislatures have absolute power over the conduct of their elections, meaning State legislatures can demand audits, full recounts, and, if not satisfied that applicable state election laws have been followed, refuse to certify any Electors or even substitute one slate of Electors for another. Governors, and secretaries of state have zero authority over elections, albeit in 20 states some governors and secretaries of state have tried to undermine the legislative primacy over elections.
On December 14, 2020, the Electors are supposed to meet in their State Capitols to submit their Certificates of Ascertainment that all legal disputes have been resolved and submit their Certificates of Votes for the slate that won the popular vote. But if lawsuits are still pending, that should not happen.
By December 23, 2020, the electoral slates of all the states are supposed to be in the hands of the President of the Senate and the Archivist. On or before January 3, 2021, the Archivist must transfer the Certificates to Congress.
On January 6, 2021, the Congress meets in joint session to count the votes; however, if objections are raised, the objections must be submitted in writing by at least one Senator and one House member. Then, the two bodies withdraw to their respective chambers to consider the objection(s).
A 269-269 tie or other dispute that prevents the determination of a clear winner would result in a "contingent election," meaning the House would select the President and the Senate would select a Vice President.
We do not know if the GOP-controlled legislatures in the contested States have the intestinal fortitude to exert their Constitutional powers. If not, recorded votes would be very informative to the electorate when re-election time rolls around, making it easy to determine who the stalwarts are and who are "the summertime soldiers and sunshine patriots."
Suggested reading: U.S. Constitution, Article II, Section 1; and Amendment XII; Common Sense by Thomas Paine (1776).
©2020. William Hamilton.