In his first public political event since March, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) warned of a doomsday Election Day scenario.
“Trump may well announce that he has won the election before all of the votes are counted and that large numbers of mail-in ballots should be discarded,” Sanders said speaking from an auditorium at George Washington University in Washington, D.C.
In Sanders’ dystopian telling, Trump could declare victory before all the mail-in ballots are counted, baselessly call absentee voting fraudulent, and rely on Republican state legislatures and the conservative majority on the U.S. Supreme Court to determine the election outcome in his favor regardless of the voters’ will.
The only way to ensure this doesn’t happen, Sanders said, is to give Joe Biden a landslide victory.
“This is not just an election between Donald Trump and Joe Biden,” Sanders said. “This is an election between Donald Trump and democracy ― and democracy must win. ... As someone who is strongly supporting Joe Biden, let’s be clear: A landslide victory for Biden will make it virtually impossible for Trump to deny the results and is our best means for defending democracy.”
Sanders’ speech, although scheduled in advance, came just a day after the president refused to commit to a peaceful transfer of power should he lose this November.
“We’re going to have to see what happens,” Trump said on Wednesday after a reporter asked him directly if he would peacefully pass the baton to Biden. “You know that I’ve been complaining very strongly about the ballots, and the ballots are a disaster. We want to get rid of the ballots and you’ll have a very peaceful — there won’t be a transfer, frankly. There will be a continuation.”
Trump has repeatedly and without evidence questioned the integrity of mail-in ballots, thereby sowing distrust in election results. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, there has been a historic increase in mail-in ballot requests this...