Brown to Trump: Retract Voter Fraud Lie, Rebuild Democracy, Don't Tear it Down

Senator Says Compromise and Cooperation Needed after Close Election, Asks Trump to Work with Democrats on Areas of Agreement, Instead of Supporting Extreme Plans to Privatize Medicare, Social Security

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) today warned President-Elect Donald Trump that his false conspiracy theories and lie that millions voted “illegally” are a threat to democracy. In a letter to Trump sent today, Brown – who oversaw eight elections as Ohio’s Secretary of State – called on Trump to retract the statement.

Brown pointed out that while Trump won the election, the President-elect still has a responsibility to serve the millions of Americans who voted for someone else. After such a close election, Brown said, cooperation and compromise are the only path forward to unite the country. And he called on Trump to work with Democrats on areas of agreement instead of supporting extreme policy agendas that millions of voters rejected, like privatizing Medicare and Social Security. 

“There is no evidence – zero – of any large-scale voter fraud in the United States. Not in this election and not in any presidential election in recent memory. Peddling this nonsense and stoking these fears undermines our system of government – and your own election, damaging the public’s faith in our democracy,” Brown wrote. 

“As public servants, our job is to represent everyone we serve – not only those who voted for us: it’s the job we signed up for. 

“While you are unquestionably the victor of this election, that does not change the fact that more than half the country voted for someone else.  Your task at hand is to reach out to, not alienate, those Americans. 

“Instead, we’re already hearing talk of plans to privatize Social Security, to raise the Medicare retirement age, to give huge handouts to Wall Street at the expense of the middle class, and to roll back laws that safeguard our air and water and protect American consumers.  That is far from the compromise and cooperation we need at this difficult time. 

“There are areas where we can work together. This can only happen if you retract your false statements and commit to rebuilding our democracy – not tearing it down.”

Full text of the letter is below and available here.

November 29, 2016

President-elect Donald Trump

Trump-Pence Transition Team

1717 Pennsylvania Ave NW

Washington, DC 20006

Dear President-Elect Trump,

I was encouraged by your tone shortly after the election when you said you wanted to be a President for ‘all Americans.’ Unfortunately, your words and actions since then have too often undermined our ability to bring the country together and move forward.  

As Secretary of State of Ohio for eight years, I know there are few things more important than the integrity of our electoral system. Your choice to spread false conspiracy theories and to claim millions of fraudulent votes is not only unbecoming of a gracious winner, it is downright dangerous to our democracy.  

There is no evidence – zero – of any large-scale voter fraud in the United States. Not in this election and not in any presidential election in recent memory.

Peddling this nonsense and stoking these fears undermine our system of government – and your own election, damaging the public’s faith in our democracy. You won the Electoral College. That is a fact, and you are the President-elect. It is also a fact, however, that Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by more than 2 million votes.

Hillary Clinton’s popular vote victory margin is larger than John Kennedy’s over Richard Nixon, it's larger than Richard Nixon’s over Hubert Humphrey, and it’s larger than Jimmy Carter’s over Gerald Ford. This was far from a landslide victory, and the only way to bring the country together and move forward is to reach across the aisle and work together.

Now is the time to reach out to the majority of Americans who voted for someone else and unite Americans based on our nation's shared values.

Instead, we’re already hearing talk of plans to privatize Social Security, to raise the Medicare retirement age, to give huge handouts to Wall Street at the expense of the middle class, and to roll back laws that safeguard our air and water and protect American consumers. That is far from the compromise and cooperation we need at this difficult time.

As public servants, our job is to represent everyone we serve – not only those who voted for us: it’s the job we signed up for.

While you are the victor in this election, that does not change the fact that more than half the country voted for someone else. Your task at hand is to reach out to, not alienate, those Americans. 

There are areas where we can work together: I’ve already spoken with the head of your transition for trade policy. We talked about ways we can overhaul our trade agenda to put American workers first. I know many of my colleagues have expressed a willingness to work across the aisle on the infrastructure investments we need.

This can only happen if you retract your false statements and commit to rebuilding our democracy – not tearing it down.  

Thank you for your consideration of this matter.

Sincerely,

 

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