Indiana governor and Republican Vice Presidential candidate Mike Pence says the Republican ticket won’t fight the result of next month’s vote.
Speaking to NBC’s Meet the Press, Pence told Chuck Todd “We will absolutely accept the result of the election.”
The unusual statement of what is considered accepted behaviour under modern democratic conventions comes after a week in which Trump has increasingly raised allegations that the election is “rigged.”
Election is being rigged by the media, in a coordinated effort with the Clinton campaign, by putting stories that never happened into news!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 16, 2016
The claims, made without any evidence, are unparalleled in modern electoral politics.
They have also have raised concerns that win or lose, Trump’s assertions could do long term damage to American democratic institutions.
The U.S.’ last brush with a constitutional crisis bearing any similarity came in the 2000 election, when the Supreme Court weighed in on George W. Bush vs. Al Gore.
Despite misgivings from some Democrats that the court had a Republican slant, Gore conceded avoiding an unprecedented challenge to the presidency.
Trump’s growing use of the claim the election is “one big fix” has also raised concerns about potential disruptions or violence on or after election day.
Already, one Trump supporter and elected official, Sheriff David A. Clarke of Milwaukee, has raised eyebrows by suggesting angry Americans resort to “pitchforks and torches.”
Pence is not the first Republican to address the issue.
Yesterday, Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan took the unusual step of issuing a statement saying he believed the electoral process was sound.
“Our democracy relies on confidence in election results, and the speaker is fully confident the states will carry out this election with integrity.”
Investigations into U.S. electoral fraud by numerous institutions, such as the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law have determined “voter fraud is very rare, voter impersonation is nearly non-existent, and much of the problems associated with alleged fraud in elections relates to unintentional mistakes by voters or election administrators.”