A coalition of 11 governors, including Gov. Kate Brown of Oregon, released a statement on Wednesday, Sept. 30, on what they refer to as recent threats to the democratic process and reports of efforts to circumvent the election results. Without naming him, the letter is aimed squarely at President Donald Trump.
One line reads: "…if the outcome of this election means the end of a presidency, he must leave office — period."
Other co-signers include Govs. Jay Inslee of Washington, Gavin Newsom of California, Phil Murphy of New Jersey, Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan, Tony Evers of Wisconsin, Tim Walz of Minnesota, Ralph Northam of Virginia, John Carney of Delaware, Steve Sisolak of Nevada and Michelle Lujan Grisham of New Mexico.
The release includes links to an Associated Press article with the headline, "Trump won't commit to peaceful transfer of power if he loses" and an article from The Atlantic with the headline, "The Election That Could Break America."
The letter reads:
"We do not take for granted the sacred right of every American to cast a vote, and to have that vote counted, in the presidential election held every four years," the letter reads. "It is a right that is foundational to our democracy and essential to the continuation of our constitutional system of government — something to be cherished, revered and defended by elected leaders at all levels.
"Any efforts to throw out ballots or refuse a peaceful transfer of power are nothing less than an assault on American democracy. There is absolutely no excuse for promoting the intimidation or harassment of voters. These are all blatant attempts to deny our constituents the right to have their voices heard, as guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution, and to know the will of the people will be carried out.
"As governors, it is our solemn duty to protect the people of our states. Today, we affirm that all votes cast in the upcoming election will be counted and that democracy will be delivered in this election. That means all valid ballots cast in accordance with state and local laws must be counted, and that all states must properly appoint electors in accordance with the vote. We will not allow anyone to willfully corrupt the democratic process by delegitimizing the outcome or appointing fraudulent electors against the will of the voters.
"Our nation has held presidential elections and upheld the results throughout our history, even in times of great peril. We did it during the Civil War and both World Wars, and we can do it during a pandemic.
"And if the outcome of this election means the end of a presidency, he must leave office — period.
"We recognize that democratically held elections are not an exercise in controlling power. By its very nature, democracy is an exercise in determining and honoring out the collective will of the American people, regardless of the outcome. Disenfranchising voters in order to retain power strikes at the very heart of this promise. We call on elected leaders at all levels, from both parties, to speak out loudly against such efforts in the weeks ahead."
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