By: Phil Rauch | Managing Editor

The University of Scranton, partnering with Keep Our Republic Inc., hosted a Zoom forum featuring several prominent former politicians, law professors, and prosecutors at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Keep Our Republic Inc. is an interest group that seeks to disseminate truthful information about the 2020 election cycle, discredit false voter and election information that spreads throughout the internet and educate people on how to properly vote by mail in whatever state they reside.

The forum was moderated by Dr. Jean Harris, professor of political science at the University.

Guests for the forum included former Congressman Charlie Dent, former U.S. House Majority and Minority Leader Dick Gephardt, former Assistant U.S. Attorney Mary McCord and CEO/president of the Committee of Seventy, a non-partisan government watchdog in Philadelphia, David Thornburgh.

The panelists discussed threats of election integrity, the threats of domestic voter intimidation, the prospect of potentially not knowing the results of the election on election day and the potential for unclear election results with mail-in ballots.

The panelists all agreed that they want a large and focused effort to make the ballot-counting process as systematic, accurate, and unbiased as possible.

When the election finally delivers a clear result, they added, it should be upheld and a peaceful transition of power should take place.

There was mention of the infamous Bush v. Gore Florida recount in the 2000 presidential election. The recount surrounded the controversial, disparate, and inconsistent ways in which multiple Florida counties counted absentee ballots, mailed-in ballots, and “hanging chads.”

While technology has improved, concerns for the counting processes in different states still loom.

The recount of 2000 happened in just a few counties across the state. Albeit a large state, that would be amplified by 50 times when the ballots have begun to be counted across the U.S.

The panelists also expressed confidence in the American voters, the strength of American democracy, the transition of power, and the deference all parties involve will show for the election results.

There are precautions people should take when voting by mail, but by and large, it is a safe and secure avenue to vote. Research the rules that govern one’s state’s mail-in laws, find out any essential deadlines, and send in one’s ballot as soon as possible.