Re-re-recount (and counting)

By Bobbie Kirkhart

As the world knows, Don­ald Trump’s 2016 elec­tion to the pres­i­den­cy had healthy assis­tance from Russ­ian bots that, in spite of their non-human cir­cum­stance, knew a great deal about unver­i­fied cor­rup­tion of Hillary Clin­ton and were gen­er­ous­ly eager to share that infor­ma­tion with cer­tain recep­tive seg­ments of the Amer­i­can pub­lic. Dur­ing that time, there were ver­i­fied attempts to hack into 21 states, but we nev­er found out if they were suc­cess­ful as the Trump admin­is­tra­tion declared the bud­get wouldn’t allow for an inves­ti­ga­tion. Some high­ly sus­pi­cious Amer­i­cans (we call them Democ­rats) wor­ried aloud that the 2020 elec­tion might also be rigged. For­tu­nate­ly, Trump knew how to tell. Dur­ing the cam­paign, when Joe Biden was lead­ing in the polls, he stat­ed that if Biden were announced the win­ner, we would know the elec­tion was rigged. Well, Biden was announced the win­ner, so there you have it, clear proof of fraud.

Pho­to cred­it: “super green nin­ja ‘with lasers’” by TheAlieness Gise­la­Gia­rdi­no²³ is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

And if you’re won­der­ing what this image has to do with the elec­tion recounts, then…

Being a man who goes by the law, Trump first attempt­ed to rec­ti­fy this abom­i­na­tion by send­ing his team of high­ly skilled attor­neys and oth­er sym­pa­thiz­ers to work. They filed at least 86 court cas­es chal­leng­ing votes for Biden as fraud­u­lent. 85 were denied out­right, one was over­turned on appeal. Sev­er­al of the judges who dis­missed these cas­es had been appoint­ed by Trump, prov­ing how treach­er­ous the sys­tem had become.

On Jan­u­ary 6, 2021, all the many steps to cer­ti­fy the elec­tion for Biden were com­plet­ed, except the last one in which the states report their votes and the vice pres­i­dent accepts them. In close states that Biden won, there had not only been recounts, but often sec­ond recounts. All these recounts agreed with the orig­i­nal vote count. This cer­ti­fi­ca­tion is pure­ly cer­e­mo­ni­al and comes well after the states have con­firmed their results. When Don­ald Trump asked his vice pres­i­dent, Mike Pence, to use this occa­sion to reverse the results that were to be report­ed for Biden and declare that Trump won the elec­tion, Pence explained he only had a report­ing pow­er. Trump had expect­ed more from their friendship.

When the day came, Trump held a ral­ly for his sup­port­ers about a mile from the Capi­tol where the cer­ti­fi­ca­tion was tak­ing place. He encour­aged his sup­port­ers to go to the Capi­tol and express their feel­ings about the cer­ti­fi­ca­tion. They did. There are two Repub­li­can ver­sions of what ensued. One is that the crowd was made up of nor­mal tourists frol­ick­ing at their nation’s Capi­tol. They wore cos­tumes and made enter­tain­ing arti­facts that demon­strat­ed their good humor. These includ­ed the gal­lows that com­pli­ment­ed the play­ful chant, “Hang Mike Pence.” The Sen­a­tors played games with them. This site shows Con­gress­man Andrew Clyde, one advo­cate of the frol­ick­ing-tourist the­o­ry, help­ing to bar the door where his col­leagues were hid­ing in an appar­ent game of hide and seek.

The oth­er Repub­li­can inter­pre­ta­tion is that the demon­stra­tors were not Trump sup­port­ers at all. They were mem­bers of ANTIFA, a loose­ly knit group of lib­er­als who staged this demon­stra­tion to make Trump look bad. This view has some cred­i­bil­i­ty, as the demon­stra­tors did, indeed, make Trump look bad.

Con­gress, after hours hid­ing in fear, resumed and con­tin­ued the cer­e­mo­ni­al process into the night so that the demon­stra­tors were denied their wish to pre­vent the cer­ti­fi­ca­tion of Biden’s vic­to­ry. Some mem­bers of Con­gress are pet­ty that way.

Final­ly, after all this, Trump adher­ents have fig­ured out what the prob­lem is: The votes have been count­ed by expe­ri­enced, trained, bi-par­ti­san groups rather than loy­al Repub­li­cans. The state of Ari­zona was the first to come up with a solu­tion: They got their own audi­tors. The vote had been count­ed three times by qual­i­fied elec­tion pro­fes­sion­als, and the tal­ly was offi­cial­ly entered in both state and fed­er­al records, which could not legal­ly be changed, but Ari­zona Repub­li­cans fig­ured, “What the hay! We can try one more time.” They were not deterred by the fact that the bal­lots or machines could not be legal­ly sent to an out­side group. Dear Leader had told them that if he didn’t win, the vote was rigged, so they were going to keep try­ing until they proved it. They hired a Flori­da group with the impres­sive name of Cyber Nin­jas. Though they had no expe­ri­ence with elec­tions, they did claim to have exper­tise in ‘eth­i­cal hack­ing’, which is hack­ing into a sys­tem to prove its weaknesses.

To the date of this writ­ing, the Ari­zona count is much delayed. Cyber Nin­jas explain that they are slow because they are extreme­ly care­ful. They look for prob­lems the expe­ri­enced audi­tors may have missed, such as the weight of the paper bal­lots, water marks or food smears, which are sure signs of fraud. Most espe­cial­ly, they under­take micro­scop­ic inspec­tions of each bal­lot in search of bam­boo frag­ments, which would indi­cate the paper came from Korea or Chi­na. Ordi­nary audi­tors didn’t know that.

So, we wait, and wait, and wait for an elec­tion result that all will accept. Until then, we’re Biden our time.

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Bob­bie Kirkhart is a past pres­i­dent of the Athe­ist Alliance Inter­na­tion­al and of Athe­ists Unit­ed. She is a founder and past vice pres­i­dent of the Sec­u­lar Coali­tion for Amer­i­ca. She is a fre­quent con­trib­u­tor to U.S. freethought publications.