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Letters to the Editor

Letter: Trust in elections

  • Author: Andy Josephson
    | Opinion
  • Updated: December 13, 2020
  • Published December 13, 2020

Thursday, the governor was quoted as saying that President-elect Joe Biden has an “outside chance” of being elected president. An outside chance, he said. That’s what you say about a basketball team’s chances of winning when it’s down 20 points at halftime. That’s not what you typically say when one candidate outpolls the other by 7 million votes and carries two significant states — Arizona and Georgia — not needed to win.

Consider one of the best sites for national polls: the conservative-leaning Real Clear Politics. Spanning the past two years, it shows the results of 294 national presidential polls. Joe Biden led in 289 of those polls. Trump, a scant five. While I am aware that our presidential elections are not decided by the popular vote, it’s a challenge to win the electoral college when you’re down 7 million votes.  

The difficulty elected officials seem to be having is with the “letting down” portion of delivering bad news to their supporters. I’m not a counselor and I can’t offer anything especially insightful to help folks emotionally process how competitions are resolved. I would note that when you compete in anything — arts, athletics, or business — you have to be prepared to lose. Typically, people come to grips with this reality at a young age.

Separately, there has been great consternation about absentee ballots. Elections are run by states. If people don’t like absentee ballots, they need to change the law, not complain about how many there were. Since encouraging voting should be a good thing, in their suggested reforms they might want to offer the broadest opportunity to exercise the franchise, however.

I want to thank the Division of Elections for its thorough and legal counting of each and every vote. I am confident that President Trump carried Alaska’s three electoral votes and that Rep. Don Young and Sen. Dan Sullivan prevailed in their elections. I don’t question those results and don’t believe we need a do-over. I encourage people to be consistent in their faith in the counting’s accuracy, and not only cast suspicion on some states and some results.

— Rep. Andy Josephson

Anchorage

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