Tuesday, January 19, 2021
he Trump supporters who stormed the Capitol building on January 6 fervently believed that a massive election conspiracy was the only thing keeping the president from a legitimate second term. Trump’s claims were so extravagant—and the behavior of the rioters so appalling—that reasonable people might be tempted to conclude that all concerns over voting irregularities are unfounded, or, worse, a cover for extremism. Even before the election, many on the left were suggesting that any discussions about election vulnerabilities axiomatically constitute “disinformation.”
In fact, our electoral system is not as secure as it should be. Not surprisingly, citizens on both sides seem to trust it only when their party wins. Four years ago, of course, it was Democrats who claimed that the presidential election was “hacked,” and some, including the losing candidate herself, never stopped calling Trump’s presidency illegitimate. According to a 2020 Gallup poll, deep distrust in our electoral system goes back many years, though never before has it led to the kind of frightening violence we saw in Washington earlier this month.
Unfortunately, concerns about election security tend to be downplayed by whichever political party has won the most recent contest. That’s a mistake.