Is it un-democratic to distrust the vote?

This is a general debate, not constrained to the 2020 U.S. elections.

It is fundamental to democracy that the results of an election are respected. It would seem to follow that it is un-democratic to distrust the results.

But this gives rise to a paradox, what if there are good reasons to distrust the results? Should “democracy” stand defiant in the face of reason? Is it always undemocratic to, for example, call for a manual recount? For a new election?

Inspired by another topic.


Distrusting the vote without evidence of wrongdoing is wishful thinking/being a sore loser. To distrust something based on evidence of wrongdoing is following the evidence.

@Monty has it.

If there is reason to distrust an election then it is perfectly fine and patriotic to say so and demand a correction.

But if the only thing you have is not liking the results then you’ve got notning.

Bring evidence or step-off.

Depends on whether the election was clean or not - and, if it was ‘unclean,’ whether it was such to a point that the entire outcome was swayed.

Democrats, for instance, claimed in 2016 that Russia had interfered in the election, yet they didn’t claim that the entire election itself was invalid, because Russia’s interference wasn’t big enough in its own right to reverse the outcome.

If one side has cheated in a big enough way to sway the entire outcome, it would be un-democratic to trust the vote, not distrust it.

I’m going to go a little further- it’s OK to call for a recount if the votes are extremely close even if there isn’t evidence of wrongdoing. If Candidate A won by a state by 100 votes, I wouldn’t have a problem with Candidate B calling for a recount if the electoral vote was so close that that state would make a difference. But if Candidate A was in the lead by tens of thousands of votes or if Candidate B needs recounts to go his way in multiple states, then Candidate B just needs to accept the loss unless there is actual evidence of wrongdoing.

We should have so many checks and balances so that we can identify voter fraud and election fraud.

If we have those and they do not match the results, then yeah people should question the election.

No one claimed that Trump didn’t win in 2016 under the electoral rules in place, even if 3 million more voted for Hillary. AFAIK, the Russian influence changed how a few people voted (violating a law against foreign influence) but did not change the actual votes. If that election was stolen it was the work of pols making it hard to vote, either by purging voter roles or requiring hard to acquire ID. For example, I have never had to produce a birth certificate either to get a driver’s license or to register to vote (in the US or Canada). But I have read that southern states routinely require this.

Don’t you mean Candidate T?