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A record number of votes were cast by millions of American citizens for both presidential candidates in this election without evidence of voter fraud or widespread irregularities. But President Donald Trump declared himself the winner independent of our democratic election and continues to question the legitimacy and integrity of the election.

Having served overseas with many other Americans, I observe that these are recognizable authoritarian tactics of a dictator. I never thought these tactics would occur in our country.

The good, patriotic men and women working at polling locations across our country took an oath to protect the integrity of our election process. They took an oath to support and defend the U.S. Constitution. They came from all walks of life, races, ethnicities, religions and different political parties, to serve our country with honor, integrity and commitment to protect our democracy. They deserve accolades, instead of being disrespected and harassed by people questioning their integrity based on the lies of a lame-duck president.

The ballots that Trump and his Republican allies claimed were fraudulent without any evidence were the same ballots that elected Republicans to the Senate, such as Mitch McConnell, R-Ky, and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and other Republicans down the ballot. Trump and his allies, to date, have lost 48 lawsuits challenging the election.

Autocrats claim they win elections they have not and they use the power of their office to corrupt all of those around them. However, that is not how things are done in the United States. We can be proud of those state representatives who have faithfully executed their responsibilities regardless of their political party to uphold the election results.

Judith Crookshanks

Raliegh County native