It’s one of those moments in life with a vivid memory. Maybe because it was filled with so much raw emotion and disappointment. On election night, November 8, 2016, a collective groan reverberated across the globe expressing the painful awareness that immorality, misogyny, racism, vulgarity, sedition, and greed were elected to the highest office in our nation. Over the last four years, Donald Trump’s inhumane transgressions continuously bombarded us through tweet, speech, and policy. As we approach the next presidential election, we must realize the scope of our challenge. The stage being set and the power afforded the Executive branch of government require vigilance and determination unlike any election in our lifetime, possibly unlike any election in our nation’s history. On November 3, 2020, we can expect to see the results of our local election, but there is a good chance we will also see chaos on that day and in the days that follow.
The Transition Integrity Project (TIP), a series of 2020 election crisis scenario planning exercises, was organized by Rosa Brooks, a law professor at Georgetown and former Pentagon senior official, and Nils Gilman, a former vice chancellor of the University of California, Berkeley and historian at the Berggruen Institute. Over 100 bipartisan political operatives, academics, and former government officials participated in simulations of four possible outcomes of the 2020 presidential election. Participants included Michael Steele, a former chair of the Republican National Committee; John Podesta, the former White House chief of staff who chaired Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign; former Republican members of Congress; and a host of former elected officials, government staffers, consultants, and even journalists. The four scenarios presented to the group were (1) ambiguous results (2) a clear Biden victory (3) a clear Trump win and (4) a narrow Biden win. The conclusions drawn from the exercises are alarming.
“We assess with a high degree of likelihood that November’s elections will be marked by a chaotic legal and political landscape.” None of the scenarios saw an orderly transition of power, but the most favorable outcome resulted from a clear Biden victory. The TIP report outlines specific recommendations “to spur all stakeholders to action” to mitigate the risks associated with disregard for election rules and norms. You and I are those stakeholders.
I appreciate the work being done by the Democrats in Bernalillo County and across our State. Yet, I have more to ask of you. We need a clear victory for Democrats and we need to take action now to help ensure an orderly election.
- Volunteer for the DPNM Coordinated Campaign (DPNM-CC).The DPNM-CC is dedicated to getting Democrats elected up and down the ballot. Their plan and strategy will only work with our help. See this week’s volunteer opportunities here: https://conta.cc/3324Ovk
- Volunteer for local candidates.Local candidates need our support to reach the electorate. Read about our candidates and connect with their campaigns here: https://bernalillodems.org/candidate-focus-2020/
- Volunteer to be an election observer. The Democratic Party of New Mexico is organizing volunteers across the state to help the legal team monitor the polls. Volunteer with the DPNM Voter Protection Team here: https://secure.ngpvan.com/SZ2cBFxZokSvBi2sFCA_XA2
- Write letters to the editor and contact local media outlets. Our expectations for election night outcomes must be rooted in reality. This year, absentee balloting is projected to be at record highs around the country and because not all officials are as prepared as New Mexico’s for that process, a presidential winner will likely not be known on November 3. The media have an obligation to report the reality that absentee balloting is a legitimate process and prolonged vote counting is not a sign of fraud but rather a result of an unprecedented pandemic-time election.
I encourage you to read the full TIP report (https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/7013152-Preventing-a-Disrupted-Presidential-Election-and.html#document) and to act, “…for many Democrats and key Democratic constituencies, this election represents an existential crisis, the last chance to stop a rapid and potentially irreversible US decline into authoritarianism and unbridled nativism.”
We can do this!
Yours in Democracy,
Flora Lucero, Chair
Democratic Party of Bernalillo County