Whether you’re a fan or a critic of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, you can always count on him to call things the way he sees them. Remember when he said “Secretary [Hillary] Clinton ran against the most unpopular candidate in this history of this country and she still lost. But our job now is not to go backwards, it is to go forwards” (via Independent)?
A blink-and-you’ll-miss-it Sanders TV moment is now making the rounds, because while it may have been made last month, the senator could have just as easily made these comments on election night. On October 23 — which might have been two weeks ago, but feels like forever — the senator appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon where he specifically addressed the scenario we are all living in right now. He said: “My view is every vote must be counted . . . You’re gonna have a situation, I suspect, in states like Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, other states, where they are going to be receiving huge amounts of mail-in ballots. And unlike states like Florida or Vermont, they’re not able . . . to begin processing those ballots until election day or maybe when the polls close. That means you’re going to have states dealing with perhaps millions of mail-in ballots” (via Popsugar).
Sanders warned of the post-election turmoil to come
Because, as he explained, the Democrats pushed for mail-in voting, and the Republicans were more likely to vote in person, Sanders would also lay out the scenario that would play out on election night: “Here is the fear — it could well be that at 10 o’clock on election night, Trump is winning in Michigan, he’s winning in Pennsylvania, he’s winning in Wisconsin, and he gets on the television and he says, ‘Thank you, Americans, for reelecting me. It’s all over, have a good day,'” Sanders said. “But then the next day, and the day following, all of those mail-in ballots start getting counted and it turns out that Biden has won those states. At which point Trump says, ‘See, I told you the whole thing was fraudulent. I told you those mail-in ballots were crooked.'”
Sanders also said, “We are a democratic society. People have fought and died to defend our democracy, and we cannot re-elect a president who does not believe in the rule of law, the constitution, or in fact, democracy,” (via YouTube).
As Sanders predicted, votes are still coming in
Calls for President Donald Trump to let the count finish properly have been rising, most notably from within the Republican Party establishment. The GOP’s Ohio Governor Mike DeWine earlier said: “We count the votes. We believe in the rule of law. I am for Trump, but if it ends up being Biden, all of us will accept that … Every vote has to be counted. We as a country accept election results. We believe in counting all the votes,” (via Twitter). Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has also told reporters, “Claiming you won the election is different from finishing the counting.”
Pennsylvania says only about 50 percent of the mail-in votes have been counted so far, and it just needed time to get through the ballots. Pennsylvania Commonwealth Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar says: “We are exactly where we said we would be. We said it was going to take some time to count the mail ballots. There’s nothing extraordinary about the vote count going past election night and results simply are not official until states certify those, which can take a week to 10 days after the election,” (via Al Jazeera).
The Associated Press reports that the Trump campaign wants to stop the vote count in Pennsylvania, while arguing that the count of mail-in ballots needs to continue in Arizona.
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