Wineke: Don’t take away my vote

U.S. Supreme Court
Amanda Andrade-Rhoades/Bloomberg/Getty Images

MADISON, Wis. — The attorney general of Texas, accompanied by 17 other state attorneys general and about half the Republicans in Congress, is petitioning the Supreme Court* asking that Wisconsin’s presidential votes be discarded.

Not only that, but one of our own Congressmen, Rep. Tom Tiffany, agrees, and one of our Senators, the one who is not Tammy Baldwin, thinks he would like to overrule the Electoral College.

Perhaps I’m being petty, but I really resent all this. I cast a ballot and I think it should count.

In fact, I would think the 1.6 million Wisconsin residents who voted for President Trump might also think their ballots count. President-elect Biden received 20,000 more votes, but I’d say the Republicans did pretty well in the state.

What Tiffany and the others are asking is that the votes from Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Georgia be thrown out and that the legislatures of those states be empowered to determine who should be president.

That’s a pretty drastic proposal. Is there some reason why those who support it think we ought to just undo the principle that our leaders gain their legitimacy through the ballot?

Well, in Wisconsin, they seem upset that many communities use “drop boxes” where voters can deposit absentee ballots.

I live in the Town of Dunkirk and the town has a locked drop box next to the door on the town hall. In order to receive the ballot, I had to submit a photo identification (from my drivers’ license). In order to cast it, I had to have it witnessed. I’m not sure why Tiffany thinks the Town of Dunkirk election officials are dishonest, but I trust them.

Also, if I’m reading the complaints right, some ballots seem suspicious.

For example, President Trump has been arguing that he led in Wisconsin balloting until a late-night “dump” included thousands of ballots for Joe Biden. How could that be? Coincidentally, the late-night returns included all the votes from Milwaukee.

But, as Republicans sometimes remind us, if we just excluded the votes from Milwaukee and Dane Counties. . .

All this relies on a couple of assumptions.

One is that the Supreme Court would legitimize this farce because it has a 6-3 “conservative” majority. But there is nothing conservative about rejecting the results of an election. What this proposal assumes is that the conservative justices are corrupt. I don’t assume that.

The other assumption is that, if we could only authorize the Wisconsin Legislature to determine the outcome of the election, those Republican legislators would overturn the will of the voters. That’s a little trickier but, deep down, I don’t assume that, either.

American society rests on the principle that the candidate who receives the most votes in each state wins and the candidate who receives fewer votes accepts the will of the voters.

If we reject that, we have lost whatever legitimacy we have as a democratic republic and we’ve become yet another authoritarian failure.

I would think Tom Tiffany and Ron Johnson might want to think about that.

*The Supreme Court rejected the aforementioned lawsuit Friday evening.