COUNTERPOINT: In Defense of the Capitol Protest

Bruno Rodriguez & Lily Siegfried, Contributers

     The US Capitol building in Washington D.C. was engulfed in protest over the legitimacy of the 2020 Presidential Election on Monday, Jan. 6. An estimated half a million people showed up in frigid weather to voice their opposition to the results of the election. The intent of those who showed up for the election confirmation was not to subvert the institutions of democracy, but rather to bring to attention the allegations of illegal election practices and the willful ignorance of the evidence.

     Alleged accounts of voter fraud were observed during the 2020 election. Sworn affidavits were written, giving detailed accounts of alleged fraud and vote tampering. These affidavits were paired with reports of no republican poll watchers being allowed to view the count along with covering up windows in tabulation rooms.

     The reason behind the protest at the Capitol is that throughout the election process, concerns regarding voter fraud were presented to the courts. Despite the courts needing to resolve all allegations, all evidence was disregarded or otherwise thrown out. This trend continued all the way to the electoral confirmation day in which Arizona senator Kyrsten Sinema said congress should “reject this meritless challenge and uphold the will of Arizona voters.”

     Investigating claims of election fraud in an election is not going against the will of the people or a meritless challenge. An investigation has the ability to assure that the results are correct and in line with who the people voted for. My thoughts were not shared by our senators unfortunately, as more statements undermining the allegations of fraud just served to create further unrest and frustration amongst the protestors.

     I will not justify the occupation of the Capitol itself, I will however say that the protestors were justified in showing up to contest the election. The 2020 Election was by far one of the most unsecured elections to date, the failure of the mass mail in ballot system paired with loose voter registration security made this election the most questionable vote in all of U.S. history. The fact that no one took the allegations of fraud seriously was bound to lead to mass unrest and protest. 

     The duty of our elected officials is to ensure the rights of the people and carry out the will of the people, the handling of the evidence presented to the courts was a gross miscarriage of due process. Unfortunately, violence erupted at the protest and lives were lost because people believed in due process and the security of our election. This was not a case of “our candidate lost so throw out the election,” rather it was a case of “these are unprecedented times coupled with radically different voting practices and the validity of the results is not certain.”