Emil Guillermo: Count every vote–the president can't dictate the election

Image for Emil Guillermo: Count every vote–the president can't dictate the election


On Thursday, the biggest transgression against the election without a doubt came from the president of the United States, who insists on being the autocrat-in-chief.

Stop the count? That’s what dictators say. That’s not what the so-called “leader of the free world” says.

Image by AALDEF

The distressing thing: It’s become Trump’s mantra, and the mantra for rabid anti-democracy folks in America, a/k/a “The Trump base.”

In a democracy, we count the votes. We don’t suppress them, or discard them, or ignore them. We count each vote.

Unless the only way you can win is by stopping the count. And for Trump, that appears to be his end game. We saw the full-throated approach late Tuesday night into Wednesday morning around 2:30 a.m.ET. From the White House, Trump showed his true colors as he reacted to all the media reports on election night, especially when vote totals came in and changed the momentum after what appeared to be a Trump victory in North Carolina.

“So we won there,” Trump said in the East Room before a crowd that was cut down for Covid reasons from 400 to 250. Note: It wasn’t 270, and perhaps was the first denial of that magic number to Trump this week. Clearly, Trump was befuddled by the process of the vote count. “All of a sudden, everything just stopped. This is a fraud on the American public. This is an embarrassment to our country. We were getting ready to win this election. Frankly, we did win this election.”

Really? Trump’s declaration was cheered—as if he were a dictator.

You had to be up late at night to witness it this. All patriotic Americans, of any political stripe, should be appalled by Trump’s speech from within the White House itself, where he called the election a fraud, as if victory were stolen from him.

“So we’ll be going to the U.S. Supreme Court. We want all voting to stop,” Trump said.

All voting to stop? Well, thank goodness he at least let his opponents vote. Saddam Hussein in 2002 won 11 million to nothing.

Trump and his lawyers are hellbent on litigation. They’ve gone to Pennsylvania and at least a half dozen states. Would that ultimately make the Supreme Court the kingmaker?

Not if the count is accurate.

So let’s be patient. We want a real president not a fake one.

Just remember: Doubt the president. Don’t doubt the count.

The electoral system, while slow, works relatively trouble-free.

That doesn’t mean there weren’t some transgressions that resulted in Asian Americans being disenfranchised or denied protection by the federal Voting Rights Act.

As it has in the past, AALDEF sent out a team of volunteers to 91 poll sites in 13 states on Election Day to make sure Asian Americans voices were heard.

I’ve noted how Asian Americans rarely show up in the exit polls. I saw one poll on election night that said three percent of voters were Asian.

For the full spectrum, the most voters were whites at 65 percent, down from 71 percent four years ago. That’s the real trend worth noting. It simply corresponds with the changing demographics of America.

It should also mean that as the population rises among people of color, we should see their participation increase.

This year, Latino voters were at 13 percent, Blacks were at 12 percent. CNN reported a “Something Else” category at 6 percent. Mixed race? Native American? There were more in that category than in the category for “Asians.”

This is the reason AALDEF does exit polls of Asian American voters—to counter the mainstream’s lack of sample size.

AALDEF’s exit pollsters spoke with more than 5,000 Asian American voters in English, as well as nine other Asian languages. And on the big issue, there was a clear preference.

Asian Americans supported Joe Biden (67 percent) over Donald Trump (30 percent). The majority of Asian American voters polled (56 percent) identified as Democratic, while Republicans were at 16 percent and 30 percent had no party affiliation.

Fifty-three percent of the voters were women, with male voters at 47 percent. One percent were non-binary.

More findings are being culled from the data and will be released at a later time. But the other significant thing pollsters observed were incidents you don’t see in the mainstream media.

In the key battleground state of Georgia, several Asian American voters were prevented from voting by regular ballot due to computer glitch in DeKalb County. Another example found Asian Americans, after long waits in line, directed to the wrong polling place, leaving them unable to cast their ballot. Minor? Not if every vote counts.

In another battleground state, Pennsylvania, voters overheard a poll worker make an anti-Asian comment about an Asian American voter at the Reed Street Presbyterian Apartments poll site in Philadelphia. This is no small thing if indeed we all belong and have a say in our democracy..

In New York, an Asian American voter was directed by poll workers to another site, only to be told at the second site that she was not registered and was not allowed to vote at JHS 189 in Flushing, Queens.

For many Asian Americans, the safeguards of in-language help as required under the federal Voting Rights Act were missing in action. Signage and interpreters were missing in Brooklyn, Queens, and Manhattan, as well as at some New Jersey polling places..

These aren’t minor matters if the end result is that Asian Americans are unable to vote.

We note them because these are matters too easily ignored. But they aren’t as egregious as anything coming out of the White House.

“Stop the Count?”

By now, we’ve got an education in electoral mapology. At first, everyone wanted to get it over with in a day, with blue wall (Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania) and red wall scenarios (Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Arizona, Nevada), and scenarios that would make things moot even without a litigious Pennsylvania result. (Who out there wasn’t hoping for a Biden victory with two of the three blues (Wisconsin and Michigan) and a big fat Florida?)

But now into election “week,” look where we are now. Everyone sees Pennsylvania as the simplest way to get to the number of electoral votes needed to win–270. Lawsuits? No one fears legal entanglements.

Both Biden and Trump can get there with Pennsylvania. But there are so many permutations, more for Biden than Trump, since the remaining 300,000 or so ballots are coming from heavily Democratic areas. Trump still needs to hold all the red battleground states but it’s clear. He can’t win without Pennsylvania. He can get a cold Valley Forge moment, but not a White House extension. Trump needs Pennsylvania or else.

For Biden, just winning Pennsylvania alone puts him over 270, a winner.

So let’s be patient. We have time to get it right. Make every vote count.

We don’t want an autocrat. We will elect a president.

Image by AALDEF

Emil Guillermo is an independent journalist/commentator. Updates at Follow Emil on Twitter, and like his Facebook page.

The views expressed in his blog do not necessarily represent AALDEF’s views or policies.

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