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Wednesday, March 3, 2021

BLACKBURN & HAGERTY: Protecting the Sanctity and Value of Each American’s Vote

More than 74 million Americans who voted for President Donald Trump have justifiably lost confidence in the electoral system because election laws in decisive battleground states were ignored or altered outside of the legislative process.

Tennesseans elected us to fight for their views and values in Washington, which certainly means upholding the rule of law, and we plan to exercise our constitutionally prescribed role of reviewing the electoral college results to ensure that those voices we represent are heard.

Understandably, Americans are questioning the results of an election in which the laws designed to ensure fair and secure voting were rewritten at the last minute by unaccountable bureaucrats who had no authority to do so. The Electoral College is an essential element of our republic, and each American deserves to have complete confidence in our country’s election results.

That’s why we are opposing the unconstitutional, unreliable election processes. We must protect the sanctity of the ballot box because if we ignore these issues now, then nothing will change and the trust in future elections — the bedrock of our representative form of government — will be shaken forever.

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The Constitution clearly states that presidential electors must be appointed “in such manner as the Legislature [of each state] may direct.” The Framers required that elected, publicly accountable legislators set the rules of presidential elections, not activist judges, election officials, unelected organizations, or others.

At the eleventh-hour this year, the radical Left, unelected bureaucrats, and special interest groups in several key states used the COVID-19 pandemic as a means to improperly rewrite or ignore election laws, which led to universal mail-in ballots and other less secure methods of voting, which overwhelmed the election system and prevented adequate oversight of the new processes.

As a result, ballots were less scrutinized and vote counting was chaotic, haphazard, and often-unobserved. Then, once the vote-counting began, all of the ballots were mixed together, nullifying any attempt to audit the results appropriately. This is the outcome that the activists and special interest groups wanted — change the rules in a way that is impossible to unwind.

Millions of Tennesseans and Americans are concerned about the sanctity of the one person, one vote guarantee. Despite the constant drumbeat that it’s time to move on, they know the rules of the game were changed while the game was still being played. It is our responsibility as their Senators to fight for their concerns.

We cannot ignore what happened in this presidential election.

Several states conducted their elections in a way that undermines the constitutional framework that has made our elections the envy of the world. And because of their tactics, Tennesseans lack confidence in the results, and our nation may be deprived of President Trump’s bold leadership, which has delivered a tremendous increase in growth, greater opportunities for advancement, and gains for all Americans, as well as a stronger, more secure America at home and abroad.

While we will continue to do everything in our power to fight for President Trump and his achievements, this is about protecting the value of each American’s vote. We must do what we can to guarantee that settled, transparent, and democratically enacted election laws are never again thrown aside at the last minute. It’s the only way to restore trust in the electoral system and preserve the greatest form of government the world has ever known.

Marsha Blackburn is a United States Senator from Tennessee and a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Elected in 2018, Blackburn is the first woman to serve Tennessee in the U.S. Senate. Read more about her at www.marshablackburn.com.

Bill Hagerty is a United States Senator from Tennessee. He formerly served as the 30th United States ambassador to Japan under President Donald Trump. Read more about him at www.teamhagerty.com.


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