Resolution Accepting The Results Of The November 2020 Elections

Nov 16, 2020 | City Council

At the Nov 16, 2020 meeting, Ann Arbor City Council unanimously approved a resolution I wrote acknowledging the results of our November elections (most especially at the federal level).

Below is the statement I made introducing my resolution:

This resolution is a response to the number of days that have passed without our soon-to-be-former President conceding defeat. It is a response to the many incendiary and frankly dangerous public remarks that have been made questioning the results of our elections.

Our City Council tries not to weigh in on national issues, but there is a very real local connection here. This resolution references national leaders, president-elect Joe Biden and Vice-president- elect Kamala Harris, but this is really about all of us who participate in our democracy as constituents, voters, candidates, or elected officials.

Compared to other places, Michigan is pretty lucky— we passed a ballot initiative to expand opportunities to vote by mail, we have a secretary of state who actually believes in expanded voting rights. Here in Ann Arbor, we are living in a world of privilege where we can fund extra ballot drop-boxes, extra City Clerk hours, and we arrange other conveniences to make sure everyone can vote. This is the foundation of our democracy from top to bottom: that everyone has the right to vote and that when we do it counts for something. Our whole system is threatened when our leaders refuse to accept the results of an election, or when they make excuses for why those results should not matter.

These last two weeks, I’ve probably been most upset by the voices I am not hearing. I believe that every elected leader in this country — no matter what office they hold — should feel an obligation and responsibility to speak out about the significance and validity of the November elections. I am still waiting for many of the loudest voices, leaders at the national level, to speak out in defense of our democracy, no matter what side they are on. Those of us at this virtual table may have a relatively small voice, but we have skin in the game. Everyone who believes in our democracy has skin in the game.

This is hopefully not a very controversial resolution, it’s simply re-iterating that the results of democratic elections determine leaders moving forward. As a council, we are simply acknowledging the same reality that has already been acknowledged by a long list of world leaders who have congratulated and recognized President elect Joe Biden and vice president elect Kamala Harris. I hope we can all support this.