The Republican Election Officials Who Put Process Over Partisanship
It wasn’t blowhards on cable news, Twitterati members of the “Resistance,” or protesters marching in the streets who ultimately prevented President Donald Trump and his Republican abettors from stealing the 2020 election.
It was people like Aaron Van Langevelde, a Republican member of the Michigan Board of State Canvassers, the four-member body responsible for certifying election results. With the other Republican on the board abstaining from Monday’s vote to certify the presidential election in Michigan—a maneuver that Trump’s legal team and state Republican officials were hoping would keep the outcome of the election an open question—Van Langevelde did the right thing. He acknowledged reality and voted to certify that Biden had won the state of Michigan by about 154,000 votes.
Van Langevelde is, deservingly, the hero of a must-read, deeply reported piece from Politico‘s Tim Alberta, who has emerged as one of the best chroniclers of the Republican Party’s Trumpist takeover.
In the end, it wasn’t a senator or a judge or a general who stood up to the leader of the free world. There was no dramatic, made-for-Hollywood collision of cosmic egos. Rather, the death knell of Trump’s presidency was sounded by a baby-faced lawyer, looking over his glasses on a grainy Zoom feed on a gloomy Monday afternoon, reading from a statement that reflected a courage and moral clarity that has gone AWOL from his party, pleading with the tens of thousands of people watching online to understand that some lines can never be uncrossed.
“We must not attempt to exercise power we simply don’t have,” declared Van Langevelde, a member of Michigan’s board of state canvassers, the ministerial body with sole authority to make official Joe Biden’s victory over Trump. “As John Adams once said, ‘We are a government of laws, not men.’ This board needs to adhere to that principle here today. This board must do its part to uphold the rule of law and comply with our legal duty to certify this election.”
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