By Brian Corley
As an elected Supervisor of Elections, my responsibility to the nearly 400,000 constituents of Pasco County, is to administer politically agnostic, fair, and transparent elections. It is a duty I proudly and willingly accept in public service and in preservation of our precious democracy. In the days since the election, I have stood by as political pundits and some government officials have politicized the electoral process with baseless claims and misinformation intent upon undermining the election results.
I realized on Tuesday I could no longer stay silent. As I watched Georgia’s Gabriel Sterling make an impassioned statement against actions which have resulted in threats against elections’ officials, his words, “It has to stop,” compelled me to speak out not only in a professional capacity, but also as an American citizen. While I recognize the apolitical responsibility of my elected position, I cannot stand by as my work, and the work of all professional elections’ administrators, becomes the scapegoat of those seeking political gain.
In the words of John Adams, “Facts are stubborn things,” and while I believe allegations of voter fraud should always be investigated, I have learned through research and speaking to my colleagues that true voter fraud is isolated and infrequent, as confirmed by FBI Director Christopher Wray, and recently, Attorney General William Barr. Research has also confirmed that most “anomalies” or “irregularities” are the result of clerical errors by elections’ staff who are taxed by extremely long hours in high stress environments, and the fact that elections’ administration is highly dependent on temporary staff with steep learning curves in short timeframes.
To allege that massive voter fraud influenced the 2020 results at a time when our elections have never been more secure, is duplicitous, and while it is true that the electoral votes of 2020 mirror that of 2016, the margin of victory in most contested battleground states is considerably higher than in 2016.
With every deep state conspiracy and illegitimate claim of fraud our democracy sinks deeper and deeper into divisiveness. As the world looks on, the greatest democracy in the world dares to risk the peaceful and orderly transition of power in favor of propagating unfounded claims of “rigged elections.” Through social media and cable news networks which give unchallenged air to patently false and fabricated conspiracy theories, we legitimize the idea that our electoral process is vulnerable to interference – the desired outcome of Russian meddling in 2016 as documented by both Volume 1 of the Mueller report and the United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence chaired by Senator Marco Rubio of Florida. In an ironic twist of fate, even the current administration’s Department of Homeland Security has declared this to be the most secure and transparent election in history, and yet contempt for the process lives on without reality, facts or evidence of widespread fraud.
To date, twenty-six lawsuits challenging the election results have failed in courts of law. In just this past week, we listened to campaign attorney Joe DiGenova suggest that Chris Krebs, formerly with Homeland Security, should be “taken out at dawn and shot”, and Attorney General William Barr confirm the Department of Justice found no evidence of widespread fraud in the 2020 presidential election. I believe that history will not be kind to those who are cognizant of the truth and yet choose silence for political expediency. In his farewell address in 1796, George Washington spoke to the dangers of those who “will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion.”
In the final analysis, the people have spoken, and the enduring truth is that the election is over. It’s clear by all accounts that on January 20, 2021, President-Elect Biden will be sworn into office as the 46th President of the United States. After delivering the most secure, transparent election in history with record turnout and during a pandemic, dedicated public servants deserve recognition, respect and thanks – not vilification. Although our gender, race and political affiliation are as unique as the regions we represent, the quality that unifies us as professionals is our dedication. We and our staffs take pride in our work as the politically agnostic keepers of the bedrock of our democracy.
It’s time to stop the destructive rhetoric and to stop prioritizing politics at the expense of our country’s founding principles. We need to once again show the world our strength through unification whether it’s congress singing “God Bless America” on the steps of the capitol as they did after September 11, 2001, or all of us listening to U2 singing “There is No Them, There is Only Us”, we did it before and we must do it again. As I often tell students during school presentations, the great thing about American elections is that once they’re over we all come together as patriots and await our next opportunity to be heard at the ballot box. Our actions today will ensure our voices can be heard in the future.
Brian Corley, a Republican, has been the Pasco County Supervisor of Elections since 2007, presiding over 30 elections.
Not a Unicorn says
WOW, didn’t think I’d see the day when a high profile republican would stand up and speak truth about trump. Unbelievable that no one’s had the sense to stand up in the past excruciating, embarrassing, four years of trumps advocating for domestic terrorism. Look at all these hate groups that have come out of the woodwork since his “election.” He stirs the pot, over and over. Sends boogaloos into BLM peaceful protests to incite and create violence and commit murder. What a bunch of psychos advocating for that psychopath Kyle Guy who murdered those ppl in cold blood and w/o provocation and allowed to just walk away. The miscreants celebrate it. You who stand for trump n cronies are just as vile. Do not darken our town with your filth. He and you are not mentally ill. You choose to do evil to your fellow citizens because you are evil. You are morally bankrupt. Just like your master.
P.s. Wear your damn mask. Over. Your. Nose. And. Mouth. Big babies and stop getting in my space. What are you, four?
Also, thanks hip Santa. You showed up at just the right time. 😎
It’s over says
The only thing better than this article, is this comment.
(Standing-applaud, applaud, applaud)
Not a kool aid drinker says
Excellent comment! I wouldn’t put it as nicely as you did!
Proud american says
Just because the main stream media isn’t telling you about the election fraud doesn’t mean it Is not true.
There are countless sworn affidavits, statistical evidence and video evidence. That a corrupt media establishment chooses to ignore and not even spend one minute of news time on, is appalling and disgraceful. The widespread election fraud was more orchestrated than most Hollywood blockbusters. Good thing is Truth always wins, God wins, And Evil never triumphs.
Please wake up folks.
So then all the States and Electoral College Votes he Won are fraudulent too then right? So if its just the Swing States or those he lost that are invalid Allegedly.? If he Wins its ok but if Trump loses its fake AOK. Orange Koolaid to the right
Billy C. says
Glad to see that others are as fed up as I am with this dangerous path that we have been on for the last four years. Now, after a fair election we still have clown driving round town with trump flags and wearing those stupid hats. Its over, lets move on. I also agree with the mask issue. Our gutless, moronic Governor and the beefy, scruffy citizens who choose to enter the marketplace without masks should be singled out and shamed. This is not about politics, not about your opinion or your rights. It is about common care for each other. We consider ourselves above other countries but our unwillingness to compromise for the sake of each other makes us worse than third world.
ROBERT Louis KAPPELMANN says
Brian is correct with regard to Florida elections since Bush Gore! However, unless he view the entire mail in ballot polling process in each of the contested swing states (an impossibility), his opinion has no credibility !
John Stove says
Oh please….your comment has no credibility.
Trump lost by a landslide (Electoral and Popular votes)
Get over it
Election officials, Court System, US Attorney General, Head of Cyber Security, Republican Secretaries of State ALL day there was no fraud.
Mike Cocchiola says
The Trump circus has branded all of us as clowns. The world watches in horror as we show how easy it is to daze and confuse millions of our citizens with false gods, lies and disinformation. Our democracy will survive, but battered, bloody and diminished stature as that “shining light on the hill”. Thanks, Trump, and thanks to all the cowardly Republicans who have enabled this monstrous embarrassment.
No you all are drinking the Kool-Aid. And no mask ever
Here’s credibility. Biden received more votes from the people and consequently the Electoral College. Donald Trump lost in the largest most secure transparent Election ever. Deal with it. He is using this farce to fuel the fire of divisiveness and raise as much money as possible damn the consequences. If his lack of response to C19 doesn’t convince you then perhaps this latest fantasy of which there is little hard evidence will. If not then you are brain dead. 45 Loves 45 that’s it. He is a petty low life conman dressed in a suit. The pumps in the SWAMP will start when the scum on top leaves the WH on or around 1/20/21. Get over it. Move on or not. Dont care
The Voice Of Reason says
Well said. America is overflowing with disgraceful republicans who should be ashamed of themselves. Instead, they stand nakedly gullible and complicit.
Just sayin says
Here is a article from the New Yorker in September of 2018. Anyone want to guess what it was about two years after the election. Hint: Here is the headline. “How Russia Helped Swing the Election for Trump”https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2018/10/01/how-russia-helped-to-swing-the-election-for-trump
Just because some election supervisor from Pasco County says different dose not impress me. I do trust the Florida election, It should be a role model for the rest of the country. The third most populous state in the country which is deep purple can have results in hours. Many much smaller states take days and weeks. Do away with mail in ballots and have absentee ballots only. Make every voter request a ballot.
I will finish with this. Maybe more liberals think like New York Times columnist Paul Krugman. https://spectator.us/does-paul-krugman-even-read-his-own-columns/
Lynette Smith says
There are some honorable Republic. Sadly, most Republicans in our Congress (249) are not. Only 25 Republicans, across the House and Senate, were honorable enough to come out say, Joe Biden, fair and square won the election.
If nothing else can knock some sense into the heads of all of the trumpers who believe every lie emanating out of the president’s mouth, then the fact that even several of his Republican appointed judges have unceremoniously rejected nearly all of his campaign’s baseless legal challenges to the 2020 election should be enough for anyone with common sense to pause and question who is the one being dishonest. Trumpers should ask themselves who is being more dishonest with the American people… , is it the president, or all of the state and federal courts, all of the GOP governors and state elections officials, and all of the GOP legislatures that have told Trump and his conspiracy theorists that they have presented NO credible, factual evidence of any wrongdoing or fraud that would overturn the election? And if they truly believe that the election was “stolen” from Trump because of some vague, undocumented election fraud that somehow changed votes from the (R) candidate to the (D) candidate, wouldn’t common sense tell them that all of the other candidates (of both parties) on the ballots who lost their elections, which included a LOT of democrats, were victims of election fraud and unfairly lost as well? Isn’t the irony lost on these dimwits that if there actually was any concentrated effort to commit election fraud in the 2020 presidential election, that the ones who supposedly orchestrated it would not have done such a terrible job (except for the presidential race) that they lost numerous House of Representative seats and didn’t win enough Senate seats to gain the majority? How could they have done such a horrible job, yet gained more than 7,000,000 more votes for Biden than were cast for Trump? The only correct answer to these questions is that there was no widespread irregularities, let alone any voter fraud, and that is why the courts have been laughing Trump’s cases out of court. Either they have evidence, which they need to pony up and present in court, or they should shut up and accept the outcome of this election, which even the GOP cybersecurity experts have claimed was the most secure election in our nation’s history.
Some people will always turn a blind eye to the truth. If you really believe that this election was 100% legitimate you are part of the problem and not the solution.
Billy C says
…and that solution is to give this country back to the clownshow that we legitimately voted out simply because YOU don’t trust the outcome? You need to read what you wrote and realize that 80 million people think you are and your cohorts are the real problem.
Not a kool aid drinker says
No you and your thinking are part of the problem! When multiple states, the current AG and the fired cyber security expert who refused to lie for Trump all say that this was the most secure election ever I tend to believe the experts. What Trump and his sycophants are doing is nothing more than treason and sedition and should be treated as such. Trump has been a snake since he was born and if you’re too blind to see that his grift of continuing to ask for money that’s not even going to his legal defense unless the donation is over $5000 then you are the gullible sucker and loser. Sure keep believing that the whole world is out to get him and he’s a victim when you’re the type he wouldn’t even let you in one of his properties maybe you will one day use the common sense that’s buried in the file cabinet of your brain.
It is a very sad commentary when you realize the same group of people who believed Trump’s lie that the coronavirus was a “hoax” and would magically disappear in April when the weather warmed up, now also believe his lie that the presidential election was somehow stolen from him. Had his MAGA mob believed more in science and listened to the medical experts many months ago, the U.S. wouldn’t currently have so many millions of virus infected people and nearly 300,000 dead Americans. And, he most likely would not have suffered such a huge and consequential election loss had he been honest with the American people as well as listen to his own medical experts and taken decisive action as recommended by them early in the pandemic when this country had the opportunity to make a difference and save so many lives. The truth is that the baby-in-chief, as he likes to say, knew so much more than the experts, and listened to himself instead of anyone else because he is such a “stable genius”. So many of his own republican voters had had enough and helped vote him out of office, and he has nobody to blame for his ouster from the WH than himself because he has never taken the virus, nor his elected office seriously.
Steve Ward says
laughable. Any evidence by chance or just repeating again what you want to hear.?lmao