Politics Foreign Affairs Culture Fellows Program

Legitimacy in Peril

Without faith in elections, a republic will fall.

(By Thomas Hengge/Shutterstock)

Many people on the right have questioned the accuracy of the vote count in the 2020 election. Surveys have found that as many as half of Republican voters think President Biden's victory was fraudulent. Apparent anomalies in in 2022 may raise further doubts. An editorial in the November 16 Wall Street Journal noted that the narrow Republican majority in the House does not reflect a 4.4 percent Republican advantage in ballots cast. The Journal correctly says there is no such thing as a “House vote”—there are votes in 435 separate House races. But it may be fuel for the vote-fraud bonfire nonetheless. 

Honest elections are important because each party thinks it can win if only the votes are cast and counted accurately. If one party loses consistently in honest elections, it knows it must alter its agenda.