Op-Ed By Jose Olivera

USA Today reports approximately 150 million voters voted in 2020, with a 4.4 million popular vote swing for Biden. For argument’s sake, let’s call that 72.8 million for Trump and 77.2 million for Biden. Rasmussen reports as many as 75 percent of Republicans and 30 percent of Democrats76 million constituentsbelieve fraud occurred in the 2020 Presidential election. If the extent of the election fraud is unknown, then by default, so is that fraud’s impact. There is only one way to properly sort this out: audit the paper ballots.

According to the numbers, more than one half of the American voter base no longer has confidence in our electoral system. The tension in the air is palpable. For some incomprehensible reason, few political leaders are howling for a forensic audit. Why not?

In warfare, the high ground is a decisive move. From this strategically advantageous point, it becomes easy to beat back an opponent’s forward charge. In the political mudslinging so commonly seen today, we expect that each side will seek to occupy the moral high ground. Everyone seeks to care the most or be the kindest or most “woke.” But what happens when that moral high ground dissolves underfoot and there is no hill left for either side to die on? When that occurs, reason must prevail, otherwise society fragments and falls into discord. So how do we prevent this from happening? There is only one way: audit the paper ballots.

In most cases, the U.S. government retains paper ballots for 22 months. Only after that 2-year period are the ballots officially destroyed. Why is that done? The answer is obvious. We preserve the physical ballots for audit purposes. At the first sign of impropriety or fraud, one would assume that anyone who cares about a free and fair election would immediately audit the paper ballots, but that does not appear to be the case. Why is this not a bipartisan issue? Why does there appear to be severe apathy for fair election protocols? The answer seems to be derisively unpopular and the implications dire.

With more than half of the nation in doubt, fairness and clarity should not become partisan buzzwords. Let’s correct that and agree to move forward. Why would anyone not want this? There are at least 76 million Americans in doubt.

Regardless of who won the election, the American people deserve faith in their system of government. As it stands, accusations of illegitimacy and fraud will cripple any potential for progress over the next four years. Despite this fact, both the GOP and the DNC are openly hostile to the idea of auditing the paper ballots. One must ask why. Had a detailed and thorough audit been conducted, we would now be moving toward 2021 with a clear expectation of the future. Why have We the People been denied this?

Another vexing question remains: Considering the nature and extent of these allegations, why do our politicians and news media treat this issue as resolved? Why are the claims of voter fraud treated as water under the bridge? Why are both groups, despite myriad concerns voiced by millions of American citizens, focused more on moving toward U.S. Senate races than putting these anxieties to rest? What candidate would want the stench of impropriety to linger, only to cast a cloud over their administration?

In the aftermath of this election, will America retain any semblance of itself? To do so, law and order must prevail; but just as important is the faith in the electoral system. We the People, cannot allow this situation to become a partisan issue. Anyone genuinely interested in the truth must demand an audit of the paper ballots. After all, the truth will set us free unless the truth is not what we seek.

To take and maintain the moral high ground, we must ask ourselves, who would oppose a fair and transparent election? If our election is just, it’s an easy posture to maintain. Who would ever attack someone for merely asking for more clarity? Why would anyone who truly believes in the righteousness of their claims ever seek to hide from closer examination? Indeed, they would notthey would welcome it. Such a sentiment should span even the massive gulf that presently divides the country. Since it is the Republicans now, it could be the Democrats next.

For untold generations, various right and left-wing (or worse) governments have risen and fallen. No form of government has been proved perfect. Yet America comes closest by far. The American version of a republican democracy has stood the test of time for nearly 250 years. How has this eclectic melting pot of humanity continued not only to survive but to thrive?

Breathing the fresh air of freedom and liberty has always distinguished America from the rest of the world. Ironically, those who have never experienced it cannot comprehend it, and those who were born with it often take it for granted. For the individuals fortunate enough to call our great nation home, few have ever experienced the reality of being utterly voiceless and devoid of any rights. Truly, one can judge a nation by the number of people who strive to reach its shores. Nowhere else on the earth does immigrationboth legal and illegaloccur on such a grand scale as it does in America. This is no accident. Our great nation is the shining light and offers its shores for untold thousands of immigrants.

Taking all of this into consideration, it is now time to move forward. In Isaiah 1:18, the Lord says, “Come now, and let us reason together.” Now is our time. Now is the crucible moment in our history. Are We the People going to allow ourselves to drift off into the annals of history? Are we going to fall into the dustbin of failed nation-states? How do we want our children and grandchildren to remember our generation?

For the Republic to continue, our sacred voting privilege and its associated process must remain free, fair, and transparent. With every member of the GOP and DNC, Biden and President Trump should immediately call for an audit of the paper ballots. Only then can we finally put this controversy to rest and move forward as a unified nation toward whatever the future holds. Anything less leads to chaos, and down that path lies madness.

Jose Olivera is from Miami, Florida. He works as a conflict resolution specialist in emerging markets throughout Latin American and Africa, where he supports corporations and NGOs. Previously, he served for more than 15 years as a US special operations soldier and intelligence agency contractor. During his 20-year career, he has traveled to more than 70 countries and learned three foreign languages. Jose hopes to encourage more young Americans to travel abroad and, in doing so, inspire a greater appreciation for their own national heritage. He holds a B.S. in Military Studies from Liberty University in Lynchburg, Tennessee, and is an avid outdoorsman.