EDITORIAL: Election probe should be public

York Dispatch editorial board
Ann White of Roswell, Georgia, holds protest signs on the North Wing stairs of the Georgia State Capitol building on Thursday, March 25, 2021, in Atlanta. The governor signed into law a sweeping bill that imposes new voting restrictions later Thursday. (Alyssa Pointer/Atlanta Journal-Constitution /TNS)

Americans are a little sensitive about their elections these days. Something in the air, perhaps …

No, that happens when a losing candidate refuses to accept the results of what everyone but the most gullible among us understands was a free and fair contest.

Many, many courts, many, many Republicans, the Department of Homeland Security and even the former president’s own attorney general acknowledge he lost. Fair and square. It wasn't even close

But like a spoiled child who throws the game on the floor and stomps on the pieces when things don’t go his way, the former president and his anti-democratic minions attacked the very foundation upon which our nation was built.

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And they’re doing it with such ridiculous, easily disproved, just weird horse manure that it would be laughable if what they were doing weren’t so dangerous to our country. They are directly responsible for inspiring Jan. 6, when an easily misled mob of insurrectionists attacked the Capitol

The truth is already nipping at some of their heels.  

Just last week, a court in New York suspended the law license of Rudy Giuliani, the former president’s personal attorney and one of the biggest spreaders of election-related fertilizer.

"This country is being torn apart by continued attacks on the legitimacy of the 2020 election and of our current president, Joseph R. Biden," the court wrote in its decision granting the request for suspension from an attorney disciplinary committee.

"The hallmark of our democracy is predicated on free and fair elections,” the court added. “False statements intended to foment a loss of confidence in our elections and resulting loss of confidence in government generally damage the proper functioning of a free society."

More:New York court suspends Rudy Giuliani's law license

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The court took the unusual step of issuing a temporary license suspension during ongoing disciplinary proceedings because Giuliani represented an “immediate threat” to the public and because he’s likely to face “permanent sanctions” once the proceedings end.

And don’t forget, Dominion Voting Systems and Smartmatic are suing the pants off Giuliani, attorney Sidney Powell and Fox News, alleging either they spread the lies, or amplified lies, that the companies somehow engaged in vote rigging.

Unfortunately, the damage is already done.

Republicans in control of state houses across the country, including here in Pennsylvania, are determined to run with the Big Lie, which many of them help perpetuate, as far as they can by proposing laws to make it harder to vote. (Don’t like the results? Try a different electorate.)

More:Justice Department suing Georgia over state's new voting law

There’s no trust to spare when it comes to elections.

We’re surprised York County officials didn’t recognize that when they acknowledged problems, such as a lack of ballots, in last month’s primary election and promised an investigation.

A problem with our right to vote, you say? We’ll just sit right over here. You, carry on and get to the bottom of this.

Of course, this has the voters’ attention. It affects all of us in a very personal way. Heck no, some don’t trust you. Not after the number last year’s losers did on public trust.

The public deserves a seat at the table during this investigation — especially if more than one of York County’s commissioners are also at that table. The public should have been notified of and allowed to attend a June 18 meeting that included the entire board of commissioners.

It doesn’t matter if no action was taken, and county officials can call it informational. That was a quorum, and if that meeting included hearing about the problems, plus “a little bit of discussion about how do we mitigate those,” they participated in a deliberation in our book. And the meeting was not exempt from the state’s Sunshine Act.

It’s also beside the point.

The meeting should not have been closed in the first place. Who thought it was a good idea to exclude voters from meetings about problems at polling places? No one thought to raise their hand?

We hope the commissioners reconsider and provide a way for the public to participate in the next one.