As Americans await the final tally to determine their president, they can at least celebrate a strong turnout and lack of major disruption in Tuesday’s vote.
The delay in results was expected, and challenges are likely in some areas. But the overall election progress should be reassuring, given the pandemic complications and threat of foreign interference.
For now the biggest threats to the election’s accuracy — and the ongoing legitimacy of our democratic system — are coming straight from the White House.
Perhaps that shouldn’t be a surprise after the last four years.
But President Donald Trump delivered a repugnant speech late on election night, falsely declaring himself the victor and the election a fraud.
This was immediately and rightly dismissed by news organizations, and prominent Republicans who acknowledge election results are not instantaneous and that ballots must be counted.
Not to mention the argument is nonsensical. If Trump “won” and the election is a sham, did he actually win? Or is the point only to sow division and create mistrust in democracy and the government’s legitimacy?
So far Trump appears to be responsible for the most egregious attempt to skew the election, through his appointment of a toady postmaster who disrupted the U.S. Postal Service when a surge of mail ballots was anticipated.
Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson was right to challenge these machinations — including dismantling of mail sorting machines in Washington — in federal court.
Duplicity, dirty tricks and more division are the last things America and its election system need in a time of great uncertainty.
Trump’s display adds to the astonishment, in this corner of the nation, that so many Americans still think he’s the best choice for president.
Biden promised to build unity and heal the fractured nation. The narrow race suggests that will be a monumental challenge, especially if his Democratic Party can’t figure out why it is alienating so many voters, and straining to defeat an unpopular and toxic character like Trump.
Meanwhile, all can be thankful for the tremendous efforts of election workers in Washington state and across the country who appear to have performed admirably in extraordinary circumstances.
These public servants rose to the challenge, overcame substantial health and logistical challenges and ensured that a particularly important election happened on time.
Voters should also take pride in a strong turnout, regardless of whether their candidates win or lose.
Keep calm and count on, America.