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The week’s big question: What are the consequences of Trump’s stolen election claims?

In the wake of this heated election, every patriotic public figure must commit to restoring trust in our electoral system. That includes President Trump and President-elect Joe Biden. The Trump team has put forward no evidence that would overturn Biden’s presumptive victory, and the Department of Homeland Security has determined there was no evidence “any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised.” This should be heralded, and Trump must stop insisting it was a rigged election, let the legal system play out, and commit to honoring the outcome of the courts and the Electoral College.

But it’s imperative that Americans, especially those who did not vote for Trump, understand how the 2016 election paved the way for the public’s distrust in electoral outcomes. For four years now, supercilious elites have derided Trump voters as rubes, racists, and xenophobes. High profile media figures and prominent Democrats insisted that the Russians threw the election to Trump, and that Trump was not the legitimate president, but a stooge of President Putin. It is hard to overstate how badly this frustrated and energized voters, and caused them to disdain efforts to flout their will, overturn the results of the 2016 election, and remove Trump from office, efforts which culminated in a scurrilous impeachment trial.

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While nothing is official until December 14 when electors cast their votes, Biden has the votes necessary to become the 46th president of the United States. But division will continue to rage as long as the parties offer fundamentally different visions for the country. Those differences only make it all the more important that each state work, as Florida did following the 2000 election, to earn the trust of all voters, create an airtight database to know who legitimate voters are, and honor the will of the people. We are a Democratic Republic, a nation of laws that must be written, amended, and upheld by the consent of the people. Elections must not only be timely, free, and accurate, but the voters must also have confidence that that is so.