Brooklyn Boro

Opinions & observations: Solutions to Trump’s Election Week ‘doomsday scenario’

September 18, 2020 Josh Silver, Respresent.Us

“For months now, President Trump has carefully planted the seed that he might not leave the office of the presidency willingly if he loses.” This is the opening line of a must-read FiveThirtyEight article describing the scenario in which Trump declares victory on Election Night before millions of mail-in ballots are counted. It will almost certainly lead to violence in the streets and a protracted constitutional crisis that will dwarf the Bush v. Gore Florida recount drama of 2000.

This can be averted with well-resourced, sophisticated advocacy that thinks outside the box and fills gaps … by not necessarily doing what everyone else is doing.

With this in mind, on Tuesday Represent.Us launched Count Every Hero: a coalition chaired by retired Marine General Anthony Zinni demanding that no election result be announced – by politicians, election officials, or the press – before every mail-in ballot is counted, including every ballot from overseas military. This campaign is different because it’s not a proxy for partisans: it’s endorsed by distinguished former military officers and Purple Heart heroes and is all about respecting our military and the democratic institutions they dedicate their lives to protecting.

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Count Every Hero is the tip of the spear for Represent.Us’s broader #ElectionWeek strategy – a broad-based coalition campaign to increase the percentage of voters who are comfortable with not knowing the results on Election Day (currently 61 percent). This is essential to averting the “doomsday scenario.”

These campaigns complement our VoteSafe program, which continues to get hundreds of press hits featuring conservative spokespersons pushing back against lies about vote-by-mail fraud. Here is a link to the videos we’re running on social media in key states.

On a more hopeful note, on Sept. 22 Represent.US is hosting Unlock Your Power to #UnrigTheSystem, a nonpartisan, virtual roundtable on National Voter Registration Day that will bridge the fight for democracy and racial justice featuring Desmond Meade, Omar Epps, Michael Steele and more. We invite you to join us, as we discuss how to create political equality for all.

Josh Silver is a veteran election and media reform executive. He formerly served as CEO and co-founder of Free Press, an activist group that promotes competitive media, accountability in journalism and an open and accessible internet.


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