Just over 13 months ago, the attempted overthrow of the democratic election of 2020 began.
For those doing math in their heads right now, I am not talking about the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol Building. I am also not talking about the statements by the former President on Election Night that we should stop counting the ballots because he had already won (he had not).
I am also not talking about the President calling the Wayne County Board of Canvassers’ Republican members to try to sway their votes OR the fact that the President summoned the Michigan House and Senate Republican Leaders to Washington D.C. to drink champagne in his hotel and plot sedition.
No, I am talking about that other, OTHER, attempted coup.
While the Electoral College was meeting in the Capitol Building in Lansing to adopt the Democratic slate of electors to vote for Joe Biden, who won Michigan, there was another plot afoot.
At the side door to the Capitol, a dozen or so people approached the security guards and demanded to be let in, so that the proceedings of the Electoral College could move forward. Understandably, the security was confused, as the Electoral College meeting was already happening in the Senate Chambers.
These wannabe seditionists were Republican party members, local elected officials, and more seeking to adopt an alternate slate of electors to send to the National Archives and to the Vice President to be read in on January 6th.
If you have been watching the news over the last few months, this might sound like something taken off of a powerpoint somewhere in DC.
Thankfully the security stood their ground that day, but the alternate slate was mailed in as if they had entered the Capitol Building to adopt their electors. The letter has been made public. The list of electors who were there that day were made public as well. There was even video taken of them trying to enter:
It begs the question, was anything ever actually done about this?
Well, this week the January 6th panel is looking into that. But here’s what we already know: trying to do this and submitting the documents are crimes. So have any charges been brought against these individuals? Seems like an open and shut case for the state or federal Prosecutor or Attorney General to me.
The aphorism goes: Those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it. However, it may be more accurate to say that when we do not punish criminals for attempting to subvert democracy, they will do it again.
We cannot wait another year. We cannot wait for the January 6th Committee to do this work for us. We have a vested interest to ensure that our state’s votes are not stolen away from us. And the best way to ensure that is to punish those that tried to the fullest extent of the law.