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Professor Mendes has studied, taught and written on U.S. Constitutional law.
“The big difference between national elections in Canada and the United States is how the U.S. Presidential and state elections are organized and run – they are constitutionally in the hands of the states. That is why there is a large difference between the way in which the voting is organized, and this is reflected in how in-person and mail-in ballots are organized and determined. In Canada, meanwhile, federal elections are organized at the federal level.
The Trump campaign is using this fundamental difference to contest the emerging results by claiming widespread voter fraud when, in reality, the vast majority of how the voting has been organized was well done, even if the way the votes were counted varied widely. For example, in Pennsylvania, the in-person votes were counted first to give Trump a major lead but once the mail-in votes started being counted, that gave Biden an emerging and significant lead. This perfectly legal difference in how voting is organized is the basis of Trump’s claims of voter fraud in Pennsylvania and other states. His lead to Joe Biden is narrowing in other states with similar voting organization, such as Arizona, where there are no reports of voter fraud.
In sum, Trump’s attempt to delegitimize a well-run, state-run elections system is a massive attack on the legitimacy of U.S. democracy and – potentially – sets up huge challenges for how to bring a deeply polarized society together. That will be the biggest challenge for Biden if he wins the presidency.”