By Joshua A. Douglas is a law professor at the University of Kentucky J. David Rosenberg College of Law. He is the author of “Vote for US: How to Take Back Our Elections and Change the Future of Voting.” Find him at www.joshuaadouglas.com and follow him on Twitter @JoshuaADouglas. The views expressed in this commentary are his own. View more opinion on CNN.
(CNN) Yes, there is election fraud. It’s coming from inside the White House.President Donald Trump’s attempts to steal the election and win another term are exceedingly unlikely to work. But he is already succeeding in undermining key democratic norms on which our society functions by questioning the results without evidence, falsely alleging voter fraud, and, according to the Washington Post, even reaching out to a local election official charged with certifying results.
Trump, who clearly lost the presidential election by large electoral and popular vote margins, has filed lawsuits in numerous battleground states that have largely gone nowhere. He has lied about massive voter fraud, which doesn’t exist.
His lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, even suggested that his goal is to delay certification of the results, enabling Republican legislators to thwart the will of the people and simply award Trump the Electoral College votes he needs to win — an anti-democratic idea that is bound to fail given statements from Republican legislators in key states and Democratic governors who won’t go along with attempts to undermine the electoral process.And perhaps in the most egregious action to date, Trump personally called Republican Monica Palmer, a local election official in Wayne County, Michigan, after which she sought to change her vote on whether to certify the results.Post-election certification is typically a routine, ministerial process. The election officials check the vote totals and declare the winner. But nothing is routine when the President of the United States actively seeks to undermine our democracy.