Jerry: I was so happy when 2020 came to an end. But I’m not sure 2021 is off to a good start.

Carrie: I never expected to see our U.S. Capitol under siege.

Jerry Scheid and Carrie Scheid

Jerry Scheid and Carrie Scheid

Jerry: Or the Confederate flag, a symbol of the attempted destruction of our union, being paraded in the Capitol halls.

Carrie: Why did this happen?

Jerry: Because a lot of people believe President Trump’s false claims that the election was rigged.

Carrie: In fact, Bonneville County Republican Central Committee officer Doyle Beck, his son Daniel and several others charted a plane to D.C. to take part in the president’s Jan. 6 rally that led to the siege of the Capitol.

Jerry: How do you know that?

Carrie: Because Daniel posted photos and video about it on his Facebook page. His posts also state there is a “plan” to keep President Trump in office after Jan. 20.

Jerry: Sounds like yet another conspiracy the far right has swallowed.

Carrie: The lie causing the most damage is that the election was rigged. There hasn’t been a shred of evidence provided in court to support that. Over 60 court cases were filed, but they went nowhere because no real evidence was presented.

Jerry: What about the videos showing ballots being shredded or claims that dead people voted?

Carrie: Every single one of those conspiracy theories has been proven false either by the elections officials themselves, as in Georgia, or by the Associated Press Fact Check.

Jerry: Well President Trump claims he won at the polls on Nov. 3, but his lead magically disappeared overnight.

Carrie: A very similar pattern happened here in Bonneville County elections.

Jerry: There was fraud in Bonneville County?

Carrie: Of course not. President Trump had 20,780 votes cast in person at the Bonneville polls on Nov. 3 versus Biden’s 3,526 and 1,975 for other candidates. That’s a whopping 80% lead. But when the early and mail votes were added, his lead dropped to 69%. That’s an 11% decrease because 75% of the early and mail votes went to Biden.

Jerry: Nobody is contesting the results in Bonneville County.

Carrie: That’s because Bonneville County isn’t a voter swing area. We don’t have enough Democrats to make the outcome competitive. If we had enough Democrats to produce a close election, and the same 11% early/mail vote shift gave Biden the win, you can bet the Trump team would claim fraud.

Jerry: Indeed, after the mail votes were counted, voting shifts similar to Bonneville County occurred in swing states like Georgia, Pennsylvania, etc. except Biden won, not Trump. So, the president declared fraud.

Carrie: This was a very common scenario across the country. Republicans favored voting at the polls on Election Day. Democrats preferred early and mail votes due to the pandemic. In most states, early and mail votes get counted after the Election Day poll votes. There was no magic or widespread fraud.

Jerry: Sadly, Trump’s false claim he won the election is why many people don’t accept President-elect Biden’s win. What concerns me now is the FBI’s reports suggesting there will be violence over this at our state capitols next week.

Carrie: Idaho already experienced some when Ammon Bundy and his gang broke through a door to get into the Boise Capitol during last summer’s special legislative session.

Jerry: This kind of violence is pointless. As someone once said, “Violence is a sword without a handle.”

Carrie: I like how Gov. Little describes it. During his opening address to the Legislature last Monday, he said, “Hostility and violence are not an expression of your rights; they are a violation of everyone else’s.”

Jerry is a retired farmer/rancher and native Idahoan. Carrie is a retired nonprofit administrator.