NEDC STATEMENT ON THE NOVEMBER 2020 ELECTION AND JANUARY 6, 2021 COUP ATTEMPT

January 7, 2021

Since November 3, 2020, the National Election Defense Coalition (NEDC) has chosen to withhold public statements regarding the security and accuracy of the election results.

The violent events that unfolded yesterday, January 6th, at the nation’s capitol, explain the reason for our silence. In the midst of this political turmoil, it was clear our voices at NEDC would be lost in the storm of emotions, partisan calls for vengeance, and QAnon conspiracy delusions, in which we wished to play no part.

While we have long been among the most vocal critics of the privatized system of electronic vote counting, we see no evidence of the QAnon conspiracy theory that Donald Trump lost due to widespread electronic fraud by Dominion voting systems. We base this statement on the vast majority of pre-election polls that predicted a Trump loss by significant margins, and the unprecedented robust post-election audits in vulnerable states where NEDC and other election security advocates have been working for months and years leading up to 2020.

To be clear, there is no reason to blindly believe the 2020 election was fraud-free, and we do support reasonable examinations of any legitimate problems or abnormalities. However, based on the evidence, any fraud that did occur was not remotely sufficient to change the results of the election in which Biden won by over 7 million votes.

Meanwhile, though Dominion Voting machines and tabulators were the focus of QAnon conspiracy theories, the ES&S voting systems company controls the majority of US voting technology, and also remains a security risk. Only federal and state legislation mandating voter marked paper ballots and a robust post-election audit regime can mitigate the threat of electronic error, fraud or hacking.

The NEDC has worked hard for nine years to lead a staunchly bi-partisan movement for election security that protects the voting rights of all Americans. We led the charge to secure over $800 million allocated by Congress to the states for election security. We’ve also helped lead the fight to craft legislation that would mandate verified elections, so that the results could never be in question.

The key election protection legislation we supported, The Secure Elections Act (S.2953), sponsored by seven key Republican and seven Democratic Senators, was blocked by Mitch McConnell and Donald Trump in August of 2018.

With the railroading of support for election security at the Federal level, our hope for 2020 lay with the integrity of state elections officials. This is why the full hand recount of the entire Georgia election was particularly impressive and heartening. We salute the Secretary of State Raffensperger for his oversight of the most transparent election in recent Georgia history. For upholding his duty, he has received death threats from Trump supporters.

We cannot stress this enough: Trump’s self-serving manipulation of election integrity undermines democracy and further impedes the real work of achieving much needed election reform.

Trump loudly broadcast in the months leading up to the 2020 election that he would refuse to concede no matter the circumstances. His personal and political record guaranteed he would egregiously mislead his most loyal supporters in order to maintain power. This began with early declarations that he could only lose the election if it was “rigged.” Facts and evidence would clearly not be required to back up this assertion. This “big lie” was simply the framework he was building to launch his attack on the democratic process.

Like most Americans we had little choice but to watch this deceptive process play out, and were greatly heartened to see the rule of law upheld by judges appointed by Democrats and Republicans, including the Supreme Court. Sixty lawsuits later, no actual evidence has been produced to support any claims that Trump won “in a landslide” as he repeatedly claims. Yet we knew that when Trump’s legal challenges failed, he would be willing to foment a violent response among his core base.

Yesterday, we witnessed the inevitable violence at the nation’s capitol. This morning, four Americans are dead, the Republican party is splintered, and our nation is shaken to its foundations, all due to the unrelenting efforts of Donald Trump to overthrow the results of the election.

In the midst of these dark, surreal times, we want to assure our supporters and allies that NEDC remains committed to the cause of election security. We also remain committed to working in a bipartisan manner, for the cause of American democracy, not for the cause of Donald Trump, or any particular political party or candidate.

Now that the Georgia run-off elections are concluded and the final balance of power has been decided, we hope that sanity and rule of law will be restored as we move into 2021. There is much work to do in order to protect the elections of 2022, 2024 and beyond.

The NEDC continues to promote paper ballots and mandatory public hand-counted audits. We staunchly oppose the use of any unverifiable, proprietary computerized voting systems, especially those that provide no paper ballot, and we also oppose Internet voting. We continue to work with people of good faith of any party, who believe in American democracy and the rule of law.

Leading the bipartisan movement to fight for Election Security, and protecting every citizen’s right to have their vote counted accurately.

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