OP-ED: “What If GOP Lawmakers in the House Refuse to Certify the 2024 Election?”

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Kevin Seraaj
Kevin Seraaj is publisher of the Orlando Advocate

It wasn’t originally asked by me, but it is a legitimate question. Far right Republicans suggested it aloud after the last presidential election.  Trump, himself, even demanded that election officials not certify.  

The SERAAJ FILES, by Kevin Seraaj

The thought of such a circumstance coming to pass is mentally exhausting, and yet Thomas Hartmann, of CommonDreams, notes:

“We see it in everything from our last two Republican presidents having lost the national vote but taking office anyway, to the extreme gerrymandering happening in every Red state in the country, to the naked bribery of our legislators and Supreme Court justices. . . . Networks run promotions mentioning Trump’s indictments, but completely fail to point out that he is calling for the end of democracy in America, the suspension of the Constitution, and playing the role of a “dictator” on day one.”

Robert Reich, in a piece written for CommonDreams, suggests that this is exactly where the nation will be if Trump loses in November but Republicans do this time what Trump wanted them to do last time. 

“I worry that those of us who are dedicated to democracy and therefore committed to playing by the rules are underestimating the willingness of House Republicans to break the rules to elect Trump,” he wrote.

Consider that the current (Republican) Speaker of the House Michael Johnson not only refused to concede the Biden win, but also refused to certify the outcome of the 2020 election. He was one of the “way too many” who rabidly disputed the Biden win despite all the rulings from state and federal courts that the election was honest and not in fact “stolen.”

Reich is justifiably alarmed by the potential of a the New MAGA Republicans to up-end our democratic institutions out of their single-focused determination to see Donald Trump returned to the presidency.  

“What if the Republican majority refuses to certify as president any Electoral College results from states that [go] for Biden by close margins — thereby ensuring that no candidate receives an Electoral College majority?” he asked.

So, what if?  What if they refuse to certify?  It is a question that needs to be echoed over and over throughout the country.

If in 2024 you still believe that we can assume the GOP will act in good faith in this era of Donald Trump politics, perhaps you have been napping for entirely too long.  Or you just haven’t been listening to what is going on.  

Reich thinks that extracting a pledge from Speaker Johnson and other Republicans to certify the November elections results will push them to do the right thing.  I’m not so sure. 

Rep. Elise Stefanik, the fourth-ranking Republican in the House, recently refused to make that commitment, saying: “we will see if this is a legal and valid election.”  

Like other Republican lawmakers, Stefanik remains intentionally confused and stuck in the throes of a question that has already been answered ad infinitum.  They are unable to refocus their political vision, unable to move beyond  the loss of 2020.  And from where I stand, a refusal to certify is indeed possible if not likely, which does not bode well for the nation following Election 2024.

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