Trump’s 2020 Election Brouhaha Is ‘a Bedtime Story’ Compared to 1876 Disputed Vote, Yet No One Faced Charges

Sixteen Michigan Republicans are under indictment for declaring President Trump victorious in their state over President Biden in 2020. Plots like these are cast as unprecedented, but America always survives electoral shenanigans, and the only thing unprecedented is the prosecution of the failed schemers by the winners.

Yesterday, Michigan’s Democratic attorney general, Dana Nessel, indicted sixteen “false electors” on felony charges for submitting a certificate stating that Mr. Trump had won the state’s 16 electoral votes, at odds with the certified count that showed Mr. Biden won by 154,000 votes.

Similar cases are playing out in Arizona, Georgia, Wisconsin, New Mexico, Nevada, and Pennsylvania. It all sounds dramatic, but it’s a bedtime story compared to the 1876 election when the Republican candidate, Rutherford Hayes, faced off against the Democratic governor of New York, Samuel J. Tilden.

On that Gilded Age Election Night, the White House website says, Hayes “expected the Democrats to win” and, as returns reflected a trend against him, “went to bed believing he had lost,” until New York’s GOP chairman, Zachariah Chandler, did some quick math: Holding Louisiana, South Carolina, and Florida, would give Hayes 185 votes, one more than required to move into the White House.

Democratic operatives leapt into action, too. The New York Tribune published reports suggesting the Tilden campaign sought to use coded telegrams in an attempt to bribe local officials to switch the counts for Tilden. Florida’s Democratic …

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