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There's no guarantee that Mitch McConnell will allow Jon Ossoff (left) and Raphael Warnock to take their seats in the Senate without a fight.

Next Capitol stress test for democracy: What if the Senate won't seat Georgia's winners?

Johnson is executive director of Election Reformers Network, a nonprofit founded by international election specialists to promote electoral improvements in the United States.
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Distorted U.S. democracy underscores urgency of Electoral College reform

On Dec. 14, the Electoral College will cast its votes. Barring any unforeseen outrage, a majority will vote for Joe Biden, the popular vote winner in the general election, to sighs of relief. Many may conclude the creaky Electoral College works most of the time, and that any fixes are just too hard to worry about.

That would be a mistake.

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Why street protests may not be the best strategy to protect the election

In the months leading up to Election Day, civil society organizations carried out an extraordinary effort to make sure people across the country knew what to expect. That laid the groundwork for the core messages that have dominated in recent days: Every vote needs to be counted; the system is not broken just because it is taking longer to determine the winner; and election officials are in charge and will get the job done.

News organizations have amplified these messages. They have impressively stepped up to the challenge of covering this complicated, highly contentious election. The result has been much more calm during an uncertain post-election period than might have been expected. A development that many feared could trigger chaos — President Trump unilaterally declaring victory — has been a bit like the proverbial barking dog ignored by the passing truck.

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