President Donald Trump's continuing efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential race by having the courts declare invalid thousands of ballots cast in key battleground states stand little chance of being successful, but Trump’s unsubstantiated claims that the election was "stolen" from him by the actions of corrupt Democrats in portions of key states threatens to have a long-term negative impact on democracy in America that will continue long after Trump departs the national stage.

Trump seems to want to negate millions of the record number of votes cast this year for the wisdom of the nine-member U.S. Supreme Court. My hope is that the nine justices appointed to lifetime terms never again have to determine the results of the race for the highest office in the land the way a divided court declared George W. Bush the winner of the 2000 presidential race by rewarding Florida’s electoral votes to the Republican candidate.

The legal issues in that race were a lot more valid than the ones Trump has raised in 2020, and when the Supreme Court ruled, Democrat Al Gore accepted the results and went on to win an Oscar with "An Inconvenient Truth," his documentary on global warming.

In the 51 years since I first became eligible to vote at 21, I don't think I have ever failed to vote in either a primary or general election. (In 1968, my girlfriend at Morehead State University voted because Kentucky was one of the first states to lower the legal voting age to 18. However, I was not eligible to vote even though I was two years older than her because I was officially an Ohio resident and could not vote until I was 21. By the time the nationwide voting age was lowered to 18, I was  21.)

I dont know how people in 47 of the 50 states vote, but I do know about voting in Ohio, Tennessee and Kentucky. And in all three of the states the type of widespread voting fraud that Trump is claiming this year would have been impossible.

When I was a child, my mother was the official Democrat overseer in her rural precinct. Her job was to make sure the election was run fairly. There was also Republican representative in each precinct, who like Mom was free to challenge any vote cast.

Before I reached school age, Mom would drag me to her polling place with her, and I would spend the day coloring, playing with blocks and behaving myself. But mostly I slept in a sleeping bag she brought to the polls. I remember those days as being among the most boring of my childhood.

In every election I have voted in in Ohio, Tennessee and Kentucky, there have been official representatives of both parties on hand to monitor the voting. I am sure it was no different this year.

You cannot have covered local elections in Kentucky for more than four decades like I did to fail to realize the election fraud does occur. In some easten Kentucky counties, fraud has almost been epidemic in local elections. I remember one year when there were more absentee ballots cast in one county (I think it was Magoffin, but it may have been Floyd) than in Louisville and Lexington. To their credit, federal prosecutors began convicting violators of election fraud, but always on the local level.

No one has ever been convicted of election fraud in federal elections for the simple reason too many votes are cast to influence the results.

I realize that John F. Kennedy may have defeated Richard Nixon in 1960 because of some questionable voting in Chicago, but despite this, Nixon accepted the results without wild claims of fraud. Donald Trump should do the same, but that is not in his nature.

I admit that I voted for Joe Biden, but as I cast my ballot, I knew that Donald Trump would get all of Kentucky's electoral votes. and my vote would have zero effect on the outcome. So be it. I have voted for more losers than winners for president but because I have always voted, I reserve the right to complain about or praise my president.

I admit that I am too conservative for the Democratic Party and too liberal for the Republican Party. That puts me right in the middle, where I think most Americans are.

Sen, Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader who I voted for because he is in a position to do the most in Kentucky, said President Trump has the legal right to challenge this election. No one disputes that. My hope is that his efforts and unproven claims do not continue to destroy our confidence in voting.

Reach JOHN CANNON at johnboycannon@gmail.com.

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