Eleven Democratic governors issued a joint statement on Wednesday defending the U.S polling system as they vowed that every valid ballot will be counted in the upcoming presidential elections after President Donald Trump expressed his distrust of the mail voting system during the first presidential debate on Tuesday.
Trump had alleged that mail voting is ripe for fraud, and he refused to say whether he would accept the results. He also called on his supporters to scrutinize voting procedures during the polls, which critics have claimed can lead to cross into voter intimidation.
Without mentioning Trump by name, the governors said they will not tolerate any obstacles to peaceful transition of power post the elections. “Any efforts to throw out ballots or refuse a peaceful transfer of power are nothing less than an assault on democracy. There is absolutely no excuse for promoting the intimidation or harassment of voters. These are all blatant attempts to deny our constituents the right to have their voices heard, as guaranteed in the US Constitution, and to know the will of the people will be carried out,” the governors said in a joint statement.
Signing the statement were Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan, Gavin Newsom of California, Phil Murphy of New Jersey, Ralph Northam of Virginia, Jay Inslee of Washington, Tony Evers of Wisconsin, Tim Walz of Minnesota, Kate Brown of Oregon, Steve Sisolak of Nevada, Michelle Lujan Grisham of New Mexico and John Carney of Delaware.
The governors declared that if Trump loses, “he must leave office--period.” They wrote that elections are not “an exercise in controlling power” and that disenfranchising voters “strikes at the very heart” of democracy. “We call on elected leaders at all levels, from both parties, to speak out loudly against such efforts in the weeks ahead," the statement added.