“Do the unexpected. Take 20 minutes out of your day, do what young people all over the world are dying to do: vote.”

Rick Mercer

John Locke, a 17th century English philosopher attacked the doctrine of the “divine right of kings”, arguing legitimate governments depend on the consent of the governed.  A half-century later, our Declaration of Independence echoed those words; “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. That, to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”

As the November 3rd election nears, both Donald Trump and Joe Biden maintain it will be the most consequential election in U.S. history.  If correct, Republicans and Democrats truly concerned about America’s future and not simply personal or partisan considerations should unite to ensure the greatest number of potentially eligible voters are registered, then vote and that their votes are accurately counted. 

Unfortunately, the president has transformed this most trusted hallmark of our nearly 250 experiment in representative democracy into a conspiratorial crusade to convince his supporters the only way he could lose would be the result of the most corrupt and fraudulent election in U.S. history.

His unsubstantiated and disproven claims of voter fraud date back to 2016 when he refused to accept that Hillary won the popular vote by more than 3,000,000 votes.

He has supported unregulated purging of voter rolls.  While eliminating the names of those who have verifiably died or moved out of a voting district is necessary, removing names simply because a person declined to vote in recent elections is a misuse of power.

The president has failed to speak out against the elimination of polling places, particularly as they are mostly concentrated in areas of color and democratic precincts. 

Trump has failed to protect America by not standing up to Putin relative to Russian interference in the 2016 election, which all U.S. intelligence agencies agree did occur to help Trump’s election; and in which Russia is even more sophisticatedly active today to help secure a Trump reelection.

With concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic and cautions surrounding public events, he has done everything in his power to depict mail-in voting, again without any evidence, as rampant with fraud.  Experts, including U.S. intelligence agencies, agree that nearly all examples Trump and his supporters have made concerning alleged mail-in voting fraud are vastly overblown, “misleading or flat-out wrong.”

He has threatened; “We’re going to have sheriffs, and we’re going to have law enforcement. And we’re going to have, hopefully, U.S. attorneys, and we’re going to have everybody and attorney generals,” to bolster security at polling places this election in an attempt to prevent voter fraud; despite state and local laws preventing such outsiders and intimidation at the polls.

Deadlines for registering to vote and receipt of mail-in votes vary widely across the country, often lacking any justification. especially if maximum voter participation is desired.  If IRS and state tax returns postmarked by midnight on April 15th are deemed to be on filed time, there is no justifiable reason votes should not be counted if postmarked at a U.S. Post Office by the close of the polls in their state.

Counting of such otherwise eligible ballots must be allowed to continue after November 3rd if necessary.  The fact the president “wants” the final results on election night and that cable and broadcast news networks clamor to be the first to declare a winner should be of no consequence. 

The key date for states to certify their results is not until December 8th, six days before the electoral colleges convene to vote, the "safe harbor" deadline preempting any risk of Congress getting involved and resolving a potential dispute over which candidate won a particular state's electoral college votes.

The people must demand and the courts must support an open, free and fair election which provides the greatest opportunity for the greatest number of qualified voters to vote and have those votes counted.