The courage of their convictions, this ain't. Two of the three Cochise County officials responsible for approving election returns refused to do their jobs, due to utterly unsubstantiated claims that there was something awry with the voting. Those two lawyered up, and said they intended to stick to their guns, the legal system be damned. That promise held right up until Superior Court Judge Casey McGinley ordered them to certify the results, or else go to jail. At that point, the holdouts folded like a cheap suit, and made the certification. The final vote was actually 2-0. Republican Tom Crosby, making his case for inclusion in the next edition of Profiles in Courage, not only failed to stick to his guns, he also begged off attendance at the meeting where the certification took place. We assume he was curled up in a corner of his home, in the fetal position, sucking his thumb.
And so, the latest episode of everyone's favorite soap opera, Stop the Steal, comes to an end. Ultimately, the lesson here is that trying to overturn election results through chicanery is all-but-impossible. Few people are as corrupt and as willing to ignore the law and their oaths as the two Republicans in Cochise were. Even fewer are corrupt and are willing to go to jail in service of their agenda. And even then, there are multiple layers of the court and the political system available for deployment. Intransigent officials might plausibly be quickly impeached and removed from office, or their signatures might be deemed unnecessary if they are incapacitated (i.e., in jail). Note also that MAGA maniacs like these folks are only likely to get elected in areas that are very red. So, even if their tantrum works, it is likely to remove more Republican than Democratic votes from the tally (as would have been the case in Cochise).
We are not proposing that shenanigans are impossible, but they are very, very difficult to get away with once the ballots have been cast. And for those looking ahead to the 2024 presidential election, note that of the seven closest states from 2020 (Georgia, Arizona, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Nevada and Michigan), five have Democratic governors. The sixth, Georgia, is run by people who have already made clear their unwillingness to monkey around with election returns. The seventh, Nevada, is going to be governed by a non-MAGA, law-and-order Republican, and will have a Democratic secretary of state. It remains the case that trickery before the election (voter ID laws, reduced voting hours, limited dropboxes for ballots, etc.) is vastly more likely to succeed than trickery after the votes are in. (Z)