Will they or won’t they?
The question is not regarding candidates running for public office who, starting on election day Nov. 8, will learn if they win or lose. Rather the question is of voters.
Will voters, whose chosen candidate for office loses, concede the loss as legitimate and fair or will they stomp their feet, clutch their bible and swear up and down the vote was rigged?
Will they storm local city halls and government buildings demanding reversal of outcome or will they accept the defeat and get on with planning for the next election cycle?
The questions are near ridiculous but they are asked during ridiculous times.
This round of ballot casting is the first test of democracy in action since Jan. 6, 2021 when thousands of people gathered in Washington D.C. to protest the 2020 presidential election that saw Donald Trump lose his bid to serve a second term as President of the United States, calling the election rigged.
Spurred on by Trump, the masses were emboldened by his lies that the vote was stolen and they stormed the U.S. Capitol in an attempt to overturn the election—one in which no credible evidence was ever found to indicate the claim’s veracity.
Protesting election results, even challenging them, is a right in this country. They are built into the system to ensure transparency and fairness.
But within the scope of laws and social agreements there are limits.
Not long ago when Chula Vista council members John McCann and Steve Padilla were making a comeback to city hall they faced off in tightly contested election that saw McCann win by only two votes (keep that in mind as you, your friends, family, colleagues and neighbors ponder if voting really matters).
Padilla asked for a recount which ultimately did not change the result. Later a Padilla supporter took the case to court where again the election result was upheld.
The case ended there.
But roughly six years later we are in significantly different times. For a while now election integrity has been called into question by those who want to undermine voters’ confidence in our system of selecting leaders.
Will they succumb to the lies or will they accept the results and the facts regardless of the outcome? So much will be revealed after Nov. 8.