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On Last Wednesday’s Actions on Capitol Hill

A long-time and very thoughtful friend, who wishes to remain anonymous, sent to me the e-mail pasted below in response to this Cafe Hayek post. I share it with his/her kind permission:

I haven’t looked too closely at the issue but the little I’ve read suggests that:

1) objections are not unusual post-2000 – there were objections in at least one chamber in 2000, 2004 (both houses that time), and 2016. If that’s true (and it seems to be), then is it really inappropriate?

2) isn’t the point of the process to allow for senators and congresspersons to object? All the objections do is force a debate (if there are objections from both houses). That doesn’t seem either like trying to overturn an election or a violation of the rule of law – the process is there for a reason, after all. (I am trying to get a grip on what exactly the “rule of law” means and having trouble finding any really good readings. Suggestions welcome.

3) there are a lot of concerns about election integrity. I’m skeptical about a “stolen” objection but our electoral process is pathetic compared to, say, Canada – national elections done with paper ballots, good security, everything counted within 24 hours. Most of the real concerns about the election come from things like Benford’s Law and various anomalous results (super high voting in some precincts, well out of historical patterns), which isn’t the type of evidence that gets results reversed but ought to be the sort that prompts some discussion.