Pence on Peaceful Transfer of Power: ‘If We Have a Free and Fair Election,’ We’ll Have ‘Confidence In It’

October 8, 2020 Updated: October 8, 2020

Vice President Mike Pence, in Wednesday’s debate against Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris, responded to a question about a peaceful transfer of power by saying that a condition for having confidence in the result is that the election is “free and fair.”

Pence was asked by the moderator at the Salt Lake City debate what his role and responsibility would be “if vice president Biden is declared the winner and President Trump refuses to accept a peaceful transfer of power.” The question was presumably prompted by statements President Donald Trump made in which he declined to commit to a peaceful transfer of power and, later saying he would accept a Supreme Court decision adjudicating the result of a potentially contested election while calling the massive expansion of mail-in balloting “a horror show.”

The vice president began his response by reiterating Trump’s view that the expansion of mail-in balloting carries a high risk of fraud.

“President Trump and I are fighting every day in courthouses to prevent Joe Biden and Kamala Harris from changing the rules and creating this universal mail-in voting and creating a massive opportunity for voter fraud,” Pence said.

He then added, “If we have a free and fair election, we know we’re going to be able have confidence in it.”

Trump and his GOP allies have filed a number of legal challenges across the country seeking to block some of the rule changes that expand vote-by-mail arrangements.

Pence, in his remarks on Wednesday, also accused Democrats of spending “the last three-and-a-half years trying to overturn the results of the last election,” referring to the investigation into claims of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia to swing the 2016 election.

“We’ve all seen the avalanche—what you put the country through for the better part of three years, until it was found there was no obstruction, no collusion, case closed,” Pence said, and referenced Democrat efforts “to impeach the president of the United States over a phone call.”

Harris, when asked what the Biden campaign would do if Trump contests the election and “refuses to accept a peaceful transfer of power,” she replied by accusing Trump of seeking to “subvert our democracy” and then said: “We believe in the American people, we believe in our democracy, and here’s what I’d like to say to everybody. Vote, please vote, vote early, come up with a plan to vote.”

While there has not been evidence of coordinated national voter fraud related to mail-in ballots, election experts say voter fraud is no myth, with nearly 1,300 proven instances. Hans von Spakovsky, a lawyer who manages The Heritage Foundation’s Election Law Reform Initiative, pointed to a database managed by the foundation that has 1,298 proven instances of voter fraud.

“And that’s not a comprehensive list. It’s just a sampling of cases,” von Spakovsky told The Epoch Times this week.

“The problem here is that many potential cases of fraud, nothing is done about them. Elected officials don’t send them to law enforcement, law enforcement doesn’t investigate them. And we know the potential cases out there is far, far larger than the proven cases we have in our database.”

Jan Jekielek and Zachary Stieber contributed to this report.

Follow Tom on Twitter: @OZImekTOM