Another viewpoint: Election lies still haunt ahead of midterms

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(Jeffersonville & New Albany) News and Tribune

Spooky season is upon us, but scary movies and haunted houses pale in comparison to the hair-raising horror we should feel over the continued boogeyman lies of election fraud.

Unlike Halloween, the fright elicited by those who seek to interfere with our country’s democratic process is real. We are on the cusp of the first national election since 2020, and we must be wary of election deniers, especially those who hold positions of power.

Conspiracy theories, brought to the forefront by former President Donald Trump during his failed 2020 re-election campaign, are based on lies. No evidence – it cannot be stated enough – has been presented to show there was widespread voter fraud in 2020. Yet some are still using lies to bolster their political careers, playing upon popular fears and stoking flames of division.

A recent CNN report unveiled that Michigan poll workers were encouraged to break rules in order to monitor other election employees. A GOP county party chair is heard on the Zoom video call telling workers to “hide” pens and cell phones, which aren’t allowed inside the votecount centers, in order to track the actions of the alleged rule-breakers.

The Washington Post examined 2022 GOP candidates who would have a role in election certifications if they win their November races. The newspaper found that 54 of the 87 candidates in 2020 battleground states are election deniers.

The Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol was a dark day in our country’s history, but it was largely a failure. Congress upheld the will of voters in each state despite attempts from some officials to have the results overturned.

If election deniers are voted into office and end up overseeing elections, it’s easy to forecast what could occur in 2024. These deniers could help change state laws and allow for the overturning of election results, even if they’re legitimate.

It’s like viewers watching oblivious teenagers stumble into the killer’s path in a slasher movie. We can see how this plot will unfold, but yelling at the television screen won’t stop it. We have to take tangible action.

It starts with educating ourselves about candidates seeking office, and then voting for the best person for the job. Anyone who would meddle with elections isn’t the best person for the job. The same goes for those who spread lies about the result of an election.

These aren’t just issues in battleground states. While Indiana is likely to remain red in 2024, Hoosiers must be vigilant about protecting our election process.

While we should be frightened over a potential repeat of Jan. 6, we can be encouraged by the power we still hold. From local to federal races, we should put people in office who support democracy and favor facts, not conspiracies.

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