Sometimes you don’t need to be a lawyer to make a case

As I watch President Trump’s legal team make the case that the election was stolen from him, I get lost in the convolutions -- but not in the simple principles of fact and fairness.

Were I to be granted five minutes in front of the Supreme Court, I might be able to persuade at least five of the justices, that the election was, if not rigged, at least irredeemably compromised by culpable Democrat officials.

The principle is this:  if the election officials are to announce a winner, they have an obligation to prove that their announcement represents the facts, as best as those facts can reasonably be ascertained.  This requires that the process be open to the public.  It requires that skeptical observers from all sides be allowed to see everything that the officials do, while they are doing it.  This includes the registering of voters, the conducting of fraud-free voting procedures, verifying identities, and finally, to counting the ballots, while setting aside ballots that are suspect.  It includes not changing the rules at the last minute.

It may sound complicated, but junior-level financial auditors (I was a staff accountant) do things like this routinely.  Auditors actively look for fraud.  If the people who submit the expense reports are the same people who approve them, then something is clearly wrong, and the financial reports cannot be trusted.  If the signatures on checks do not look right, then alarms go off.  If statistical anomalies are detected, investigations are conducted.  Too much money is at stake to simply take the word of anyone without scrutiny.  This is especially true when the bookkeepers resist disclosure, or discard records.

Very few, if any, safeguards of this nature were put in place, nor were they practiced, by election officials in the disputed results of several Democrat state election boards.  There are red flags everywhere, and hundreds of sworn affidavits are in the evidence files, credibly casting doubt on the accuracy of the reported results.

The court should demand of the election officials, from each governor on down, to explain (under oath) the careful steps they took, steps to convince honest skeptics -- during the process -- that fraud was being rationally prevented, and that accuracy was being reasonably assured.  The Facebook explanation, that there are strict rules in place, is entirely insufficient, especially if those rules were not meticulously followed, every step of the way.  In law enforcement, chain of custody of evidence is critical if the evidence is to be accepted by a court. Where is the chain of custody of the votes that were cast?

The stakes are simply too high for sloppiness, much more for fraud, to be allowed to taint an election result, especially in a presidential election.  The courts should demand that the election officials show that they performed their due diligence, and if not, how could they possibly now, after the fact, claim that they can certify the results they obtained?

If the officials cannot demonstrate to the satisfaction of the court, that they were fair and thorough, then the election results can neither be trusted nor certified.  They are tainted.  The public will not accept them.

The court is not being asked to cast out legitimate ballots, but rather, to reject illegitimate ones, including perhaps hundreds of thousands of ballots that could have been, but were not, subjected to the simplest rules of fairness.

I will leave it to others to prove that the election was rigged.  My case is simple:  the court should require the election officials to show that they followed, not only the law, but the rules of fairness, to a degree that the public can trust.  If they cannot, if they were sloppy or careless, then the election is irreversibly tainted with reasonable suspicion.

Okay, my five minutes are up.

Graphic credit: Nick Youngson   CC SA BY 3.0 license