The 2022 races will put electoral integrity to the test
Thanks to Team Trump’s court challenges, the justice system “has its feet firmly on the ground and can tell the difference between propaganda and fact,” Torres-Spelliscy said. Additionally, some of Trump’s lawyers have been or are facing disciplinary action, perhaps discouraging future candidates from facing similar legal challenges.
Matthew Weil, director of the Bipartisan Policy Center’s electoral project, agreed that some scenarios, if they materialized midway through, would be left to the courts. If election officials refuse to certify the results for purely political reasons, Weil said he assumed a court would step in to force them to act.
“We have had instances where people were playing not certifying elections that had no errors in 2020,” he said. “If we start to see this, it would be a very big problem and not a problem the federal government can really deal with. ”
This is what worries Richard L. Hasen, law professor and author of “Election Meltdown: Dirty Tricks, Distrust, and the Threat to American Democracy”. The midterms of 2022 and, perhaps more importantly, national and local races, he said, could pave the way for Trump to return in 2024.
Already, Trump loyalists are rushing to oust secretaries of state and other officials overseeing the elections. In Georgia, Rep. Jody B. Hice, for example, has decided not to seek another term in the House and instead challenges Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger in a GOP primary.