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tv   Washington Journal Attorney George Terwilliger  CSPAN  July 8, 2021 2:17pm-2:34pm EDT

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place in the aftermath of january 6. tonight, a senate hearing with homeland security officials and general william walker, who served as guard commander at the time of the attack. then on friday for a trump administration officials and police chief robert contee appear before the house oversight committee to testify about their actions in response to the capital security breach. watch both hearings tonight and tomorrow starting 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. >> c-span is your unfiltered view of government. funded by these television companies and more, including spark like. >> the greatest town on earth is the place you call home. at spark light it is our home too. we are facing our greatest challenge. that is why spark light is working round-the-clock to keep you connected. we are doing our part so it is easier to do yours. >> spark light supports c-span
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as a public service, along with these other television providers, giving you a front seat to democracy. >> george will occur served as the former beauty attorney general in the george w. bush administration. bush-cheney. he's a partner of mcguire woods. we will talk about election integrity. can you go back to the year 2000 and the role you played in the recount and what it taught you about issues of election integrity. guest: i would be glad to. the issue in the recount as it evolved over time was really, what is a valid vote? much different question than some of the issues that exist today. a vote is really a form of human occasion. where a person -- a form of communication. where a person communicates in confidence. if that communication is unclear
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for some reason, then what really florida boiled down to is the necessity of having objective criteria and equal criteria by which that communication would be interpreted and judged. in that case, there were of course the use of punchcard ballots in some of the contested counties and every time the punchcard is put through the recount process in a machine, it changes the nature of the card such that we wound up with some little holes being partially punched out, some being dimpled and so forth. but then the larger legal issues that came about there had to do with in a presidential election, the constitutional role of the state legislature to prescribe the election procedures. and when the courts, the florida courts, started to change deadlines and change the
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election procedures prescribed by the legislature, it really became too much of a constitutional matter for the supreme court. host: from what you learned on those two fronts, you have seen -- has anything changed much since those days of 2000 when it comes to administration of election? guest: yes, a great deal. my experience goes back a bit before. i assisted the late senator john warner when he was chairman of the senate of the rules committee of judging the election of mary, her original auction to the senate which was contested by her opponent on allegations of vote fraud. as much as is true today, the fact that there is no vote fraud is a myth. but proving that vote fraud can affect the outcome of an election is almost impossible. the reason for that is that when the boat becomes -- the vote
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becomes dissociated by the vote or person -- or in person, it becomes impossible to prove what the effect of any number of fraudulent votes were and to put that more plainly if i may, let's say there is an election in a precinct where there are 100 votes. if you find out later that 10%, 10 of those votes were invalid for one reason or another, either the voter was dead or that mailer was not filled out correctly or so forth, does make a difference in the outcome of election. it only makes a difference in the outcome of the election if those 10 votes could have affected the outcome. if they did, yes it can. there is nothing that can be done about it at that point because we do not know who those 10 invalid votes were cast. fast-forward to the 2020
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election and allegations of voter fraud made it is irresponsible, in my opinion, to push the idea that that election had a level of fraud that affected the outcome. we just don't know and will never know. host: our guests joining us here to talk about these issues of voting and election integrity, (202) 748-8000 for democrats. (202) 748-8001 for republicans and independents, (202) 748-8002. you can text us at (202) 748-8003. to that last statement, i am sure that people have called this program, i'm sure you heard this yourself, that people will point to cases in various states that they could say, yes, there are clear issues of voter fraud, about the recounting, windows were covered, or things like that. when you hear those things, how do you respond to that?
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guest: i think it is very important to look at these issues objectively and to separate the phenomena of voting irregularities, which happen in every election, from voter fraud. i would encourage people to look at two sites from left and right on this issue. one is the heritage foundation has an excellent piece on its website about voter integrity , and believe it or not, pedro, it is not much different from what the brennan center has on its site about voter integrity. and the brennan center, in fact, does a pretty good summary on its website of a number of instances where vote fraud occurred that probably affected the outcome of elections in the past, historically, including the election of lyndon johnson to the senate in 1948, and perhaps the election of others
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over time. with those sites, from the left and right, have some objectives which they espouse which are very much in common in terms of how we can have election integrity, and i wish that our public discourse about this was less political and more factually precise today, because the more we have politicians out there questioning the integrity of the electoral process, the more doubt we are sowing in the minds of the american public, which is the pernicious thing. host: if i may ask, did you have any role in the 2020 election when it came to recounts? guest: i did not. i came to represent the candidates and the republican senate campaign committee in the run-up to the georgia recount, trying to get some
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procedures in terms of the georgia mail-in ballot review changed, in order to make them more equal in terms of the judgment of signatures. but the whole mail-in ballot thing is a mess, to be honest with you. the idea that we are going to ask nonprofessional handwriting experts to compare signatures as a means of verifying that a ballot has come in the mail from a eligible voter is really absurd when you think about it. and that is one of the reasons i think the rhetoric surrounding some of the changes that the georgia legislature has made to the georgia election procedures -- not eligibility, but procedures -- are actually quite sound and some of the rhetoric we have heard in opposition to that, such as new jim crow and that sort of thing, is really rather irresponsible. host: the president himself
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referring to it as jim crow 2.0. guest: i have known senator biden since he was chairman of the judiciary committee and i find that commentary rather disappointing. host: we have some calls lined up for you. we will continue on with our guests. bill in virginia beach start to soft. -- starts us off. republican line. go ahead. caller: thank you very much for taking my call. i have two comments to make and i would like our reaction to them. the first one is that -- actually, i take a lot of pride in using my id when i go to vote. it proves who i am, that i am a registered voter, and that i an am american. therefore i take a lot of pride in that. i have no problems with an id. the second comment is that i am tired of hearing the excuse
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-- implied or said specifically -- we ran out of time. we do not have time for the recount. we do not have time to do a total revote of the country to find out any errors in the recording of people's votes. we need somebody on january 20, darn it, so we just ran out of time. that seems to be the basic excuse of what happens every time we have a presidential election. i would like your comment on those two. very much. host: that is built from virginia beach. guest: thank you, bill. on your first point, i think the idea that we should require identification to get on an airplane, to go to a liquor store and buy alcoholic beverages and all of the other things that require identification for but not require identification in order to vote, in order to prove, in
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fact, eligibility, is unfortunate that that has become part of the political rhetoric. that is also evolving. congressman clyburn has now come out in favor of voting identification, after having opposed it. hopefully we are getting by that issue. that being said, i think it is very important that a means of identification available to every voter. there are two fundamental pillars of establishing public confidence in the election process. one is that those who are eligible to vote can do so, and second that there votes will be accurately counted and tabulated. on the second issue you mentioned about time, going back to pedro's initial question of me about the 2000 election, you may recall that in the recount in florida there was an
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allegation that the so-called butterfly ballot that was used in palm beach county, florida in the 2000 election was so confusing that they should do it over. i remember standing with secretary baker when that issue initially came up in the first week we were down there and saying, look, there is just no do overs in a presidential election. that is because the timing of the election is dictated both by the constitution and by laws that congress has passed under constitutional provisions. the pressure of time is real. the other thing i would say just quickly is, recounts, for the most part, are ineffective. i don't know if you heard, bill, the example i gave before, but there is no point in doing a recount after the fraudulent
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votes and good votes have been separated, because there is no way to know who voted for whom and separate those ineligible votes out. next -- thomas. caller: guest: the dropout boxes and then, whittled it down to one which is about, 10 miles from where i live at. 10 miles from i live. do you know how many people died from -- die for voting rights? dash diet for voting rights -- died for voting rights?
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imagine jim crow, states do what they do. they went back and said i want this to be done and that to be done. there is nothing you can do about it. the only thing we can do is get your id, make sure you get to vote. the thing is that i give it another 10 years, that is probably as long as republicans have. thank you. guest: your prognostication on the future of the republican party be interesting to see. your point that getting an id and putting is important. one of the things that has happened is that partisans have tried on both sides to manipulate the voting process to their advantage. that is wrong. campaigning and seeking to get votes for a candidate is a very
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different exercise than the voting process itself. in my view, we should look at the voting process, the casting of ballots as sacrosanct and we should respect it. it should not be manipulated for political purposes. the caller is right that we have a sorry history, particularly in the 19th and early 20th century of keeping people particularly -- keeping people, particularly minorities, from the polls. the voting rights act and other things that took place, there is no doubt we have made good progress on that and we will continue to struggle as we go forward. now there has to be a shared objective in making the franchise of the vote available to all, but also assuring people that process is conducted with honesty and integrity.
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if the people this confidence in that, we have lost a cornerstone of our democracy. host: alabama, this is from karen in alabaster. republican line. caller: i have two points here. the first is that you say we cannot prove you won an election by auditing an election but i don't see why we can't. we have paper ballots. joe smith says i voted for trump and he puts it in the machine and we look at the machine and the machine says we voted for biden. i don't see how that cannot be proven. you can prove if that person is illegal american citizen and has the right to vote. that is what they are doing an arizona. the second thing is that he say the voting as sacrosanct and so they we should protect. name in the search bar. we will have


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