The chaos surrounding the presidential election bears a semblance to the “hurry-up” offense in the NFL to avoid changing the outcome of a play.
In the NFL, when the offense wants to prevent the officials from changing a call or no-call penalty, they hurry up to the line of scrimmage and snap the ball.
Once the ball is snapped, officials can’t go back and change the previous play. The opposing team tries to prevent the offense from quickly snapping the ball by tossing a challenge “red flag” on the field to have the play reviewed.
After a review, the officials can affect the play by calling a penalty, removing or changing a penalty, or changing the ball’s placement on the field. If the officials find no substantial justification to change the play’s outcome, they do nothing, and play continues.
The Democrats are rushing to put everything in place, which gives the perception that they are avoiding any voting scrutiny. The Trump team has chosen to throw a “red flag” by challenging the results. The Democrats insist that the outcome will not change, and Joe Biden will be the next president. That very well may be right. The Trump camp is challenging the “play” by asking for the votes to be confirmed as correctly counted and legitimate. The number of mail-in ballots for this election is unprecedented. It is fair to assume that not every voting district could handle the volume, and there are yet, unproven accusations of impropriety.
The Democrats are taking the wrong strategy. They should support making sure that every vote was legitimate and correctly counted. If the outcome stays the same, it eliminates any doubt that their candidate did win the election fairly.
Allowing the ballots to be validated will strengthen their promotion of the mail-in ballots as a substitute for in-person voting for future elections.
If there were problems, it could be an opportunity to learn and solve whatever issues might be discovered to help the election process in future elections.
The election was far from a Democratic party platform’s political mandate, with the popular count remarkably close between the two candidates. Curiously, in contrast to the presidential results, the Democrats lost seats in the House of Representatives, and it appears that the Republicans will maintain control of the Senate. A similar result took place in Nevada, with Republicans gaining in the state Assembly and possibly the Senate. It is logical to assume that those voters who elected Republicans would also have voted for Trump.
Arguments and litigation surrounding the presidential election are not unprecedented. During the presidential election of 2000, it took 37 days to decide Bush versus Gore and ended up in court.
In a per curium decision, the Supreme Court first ruled 7–2 (Justices Stevens and Ruth Bader Ginsburg dissenting), strictly on equal protection grounds, that the recount stop.
Specifically, using different counting standards in other counties violated the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution. The Supreme Court decision allowed the previous vote certification made by Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris to stand for George W. Bush, who thereby won Florida’s 25 electoral votes. Florida’s votes gave Bush, the Republican candidate, 271 electoral votes, one more than the 270 required to win the Electoral College.
The Supreme Court decision meant the defeat of Democratic candidate Al Gore, who won 267 electoral votes.
Even though Joe Biden is the presumptive winner, states must certify their respective state’s election before an Electoral College vote. The Electoral College must vote before any candidate is declared the winner of an election. Electors meet in their states to cast their ballots for president and vice president on the Monday after the second Wednesday in December. In every state except Nebraska and Maine, electors vote on a “winner takes all” basis, meaning whichever candidate wins the state’s presidential race receives all the state’s electoral votes.
It will be interesting to see how this plays out over the next few weeks.
Tim Burke is a businessman, philanthropist, educator and Pahrump resident. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org