AUGUSTA, Ga (WJBF)- Tuesday is election day. Control of the U.S. Senate hangs in the balance. Many of you are concerned about the outcome of the midterm elections.

There has been a trend over the last several elections of the losing candidates calling the election results into question.

Stacey Abrams did it in 2018 with claims of voter suppression and President Donald Trump famously did it in 2020 saying Joe Biden won with illegal votes.

Some worry that denying election results is a trend that could get worse and threaten our democracy.

“You’re hearing from one side, the Republican side, that possibly illegal votes are being cast. And that’s calling doubt into election results. You’re hearing from Democrats, the other side, that voters are being suppressed, so that calls election results into doubt,” said Dr. Gregg Murray, a Political Science professor at Augusta University.

He thinks there could be consequences if political candidates continue to question elections results, in most cases with no foundation.

“So I think what you’ll end up doing, is over a long term, if this continues, you’ll end up with more and more extreme politics.”

Dr. Murray believes if that happens, more than fifty percent of voters will feel their government doesn’t represent them and they will be less likely to vote, only furthering the problem. He said that he is particularly concerned with one outcome because of extremism.

“You see some things going on with violence. I worry increasingly about this. Because, in a country of 330 million people you’re obviously going to have some people who are mentally unstable and they are going to act out in ways that are going to create problems,” he explained.

He said that people running for office will continue to push a rhetoric that election results aren’t valid using outright lies and half truths, and there’s really only one way to stop them. By calling them out on it.

“They say that stuff, because we as voters reward them for saying it. Because we vote for them. We get the politicians we deserve,” Dr. Murray said.

Dr. Murray also said that voters should avoid taking a candidate’s words as gospel truth and that education is part of the key to keeping government leaders in line.

“I think it gets back to people informing themselves. Deciding that when they hear something, maybe they need to go verify. Find some other information. The famous trust but verify saying.”

According to Dr. Murray there can still be democracy even with extreme politics.
He doesn’t buy the narrative that our democracy is at risk.

“I’m skeptical of the arguments about the downfall of democracy. I think that’s an argument that’s sexy to make,” he explained. “And I think it’s an argument that you make when maybe you have some arguments that you can’t make that are more appealing.”

Tuesday is the last day to cast your ballot and make your voice heard. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.