Mark Shepard: Vice President Pence can ‘stop the steal’ and keep the peace

Editor’s note: This commentary is by Mark Shepard, a former Vermont state senator (2003-2006) in the Bennington District. He owns and operates an engineering business specializing in industrial control and test systems.

About half of our nation understands that President Donald Trump outperformed any prior president. His state and county victories are historically indicative of a national victory. He also outperformed any Republican candidate in attracting minorities since the 1960s. These facts make it a statistical impossibility that Joe Biden could have won.

At least the same half of our nation is quite aware of the numerous credible allegations of massive fraud. Vote counting came to a stop in what appears to have been a coordinated effort across the battleground states, followed by statistically impossible vote spikes in Democrat controlled cities. Even being confident of that, many have abandoned the battle. Perhaps they see avoiding conflict as a path to peace, but the reality is there is no peace through an illegitimate election. And as I wrote before, Joe Biden created a situation where he has no path to a legitimate victory.

Allowing the election to be stolen would rip our nation apart. We must work this out now. While the genius of our Constitution provides numerous mechanisms to do that, most people in such roles have looked the other way and failed their constitutional duty. They are either crooks or cowards. We may indeed be down to the last one, which is the role of the vice president as the presiding officer over the Electoral College vote count on Jan. 6.

The U.S. Constitution states: “The President of the Senate shall, in the Presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the Certificates, and the Votes shall then be counted.” Nowhere in that language is counting the votes delegated to anyone and it would take a constitutional amendment, not simply statutory language, to accomplish that. History shows that the count being determined by the president of the Senate was well understood, even in potentially controversial situations in 1796 and 1800, and it has served our nation well.

There is no person who does not have a bias, but while both John Adams and Thomas Jefferson had the most to gain in their respective situations, they also had the most to lose if they made the wrong decision for the nation. So as this article argues, they both made a decision that resulted in the most peaceful outcome, which has benefited generations of Americans and people throughout the world. While this article tries to argue that luck ruled, I believe a mix of providence and wisdom is more fitting.

That is a very strong precedent and reasoning, and once again, for the sake of peace in our nation, unless the alleged election fraud is dealt with by the state legislatures and they appoint electors before Jan. 6, Vice President Pence has a constitutional and moral duty to reject electors from states with two slates of electors and unresolved fraud allegations or that followed unconstitutional election laws. Constitutionally he could also add the Trump electors in his count, like what Adams and Jefferson did. The case for Georgia going for Trump now is quite solid, and perhaps for Pennsylvania.

With what looks like a coordinated fraud, what was discovered in Georgia and Pennsylvania is surely elsewhere. Pence should demand the same data investigation, among other things, be done before he counts any of these states for Biden. Indeed, the burden has clearly shifted to where he needs proof for Biden, not Trump.

What Vice President Pence should not do is allow any votes in either chamber, on any state, to dictate how he counts the elector votes. He must reject the politics and do his duty, which is to use his best judgement to count electors according to what an honest election would have delivered. Anything less will disenfranchise nearly half of the voters of their vote and will be forever remembered as evil prevailing because he chose not to stand in its way when his time came.

It is weighty, until it is understood that personally the vice president truly has much to lose and little to gain and so is best positioned to want to put country above himself, just as Adams and Jefferson came to terms with. At the end of the day Mike Pence needs to know he did all he could to deliver a count that represents an honest election.

Rejecting Biden electors may be disputed to SCOTUS, but then perhaps they will finally have to look into the serious allegations of widespread fraud, including election law-making by state entities other than the legislature.

Counting fraudulent electors would disenfranchise about 50% of voters and be a slap in the face to our fellow Americans who at great personal risk formally stood up against election fraud. These folks deserve a hearing and Vice President Pence must stand up for these good men and women who did take their stand against evil.

In hockey lingo, the vice president, as the presiding officer over the Electoral College count, is the goalie. His five teammates on the ice have all fouled out and are in the penalty box, and only he is left to keep Biden’s team (including the MSM and big-tech oligarchs) from pushing their puck (Joe Biden) into the goal. The noise is loud and distracting, yet the outcome will allow an election wrought with fraud to determine if our government thinks in terms of individual people and individual nations, or if it falls to a collectivist viewpoint with misguided views that a single global order can deliver peace.

The Biden campaign has had plenty of time to help clear up these highly suspect elections, but they have shown no interest. As such, they are wholly responsible if things are not resolved before the elector envelopes are opened on Jan. 6, as are each of the other constitutional safeguards that failed when called upon to guard our elections, including the press. It should be made clear that these failures in duty are why challenged electors cannot be counted.

Perhaps some passed on their duty out of concern of the far-left mobs that showed their destructive capabilities this year. However, the worst option would be to cower to those small mobs that cowardly terrorized unprotected localities. These people should have no opportunity to influence the direction of our government.

The patience of the Trump voter cannot be overstated. For decades they have tried the normal political processes, but normal failed. The courts have failed again and again. So Americans bet on a man who was outside the Washington political establishment, and that turned out to be an incredibly good bet. If this election is allowed to be stolen, we will no longer be a nation run by the rule of law. All peaceful options will have been exhausted for the majority of Americans who are law-abiding citizens.

Unlike the small mercenary mobs we have seen this year, America will have tens of millions of angry Americans defending their very way of life from an outlaw government. The seriousness of our situation cannot be overstated. The election must not be allowed to be stolen. The only thing that will allow Joe Biden to continue pretending he won the election after Jan. 6 is if the good man presiding over the Electoral College count does nothing with the constitutional power wisely given to him to do good for his country.

We must help our fellow Americans come to terms with what is at stake and together build a wave that lifts as many Americans as possible to their feet to defeat this crime against all citizens of our nation.

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/Public domain
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25 thoughts on “Mark Shepard: Vice President Pence can ‘stop the steal’ and keep the peace

  1. Not in Pence’s job description. Time to stop the steal was when they were in the act for over a year! President Trump and a few conservatives were shouting into the wind all that time. Who did anything? Both parties and the Deep State all wanted him gone.

    “Idiot wind.”

  2. Mark,

    Here is a short excerpt of my article:


    The US population was 330.6 million in 2020
    Registers voters were 213.8 million, about 64.7% of the population
    The turnout was 66.2%, or 0.662 x 213.8 = 141.5 million votes

    Trump got 74 million votes, and won 2497 counties
    Thus, Biden could have gotten about 141.5 – 74 = 67.5 million.
    However, Biden was credited with 81 million votes, but winning only 477 counties.

    It is a mystery where 81 – 67.5 = 13.5 MILLION Biden votes came from.

    Determining Voter Turnout

    Here are 3 methods of voting:

    1) Appear in person
    2) Send absentee mail-in ballots to Town Clerks
    3) Drop mail-in ballots in drop boxes located throughout various states. Typically, those boxes are unsupervised/unmonitored, which means the “chain of custody” is broken, i.e., in violation of election law.

    Town Clerks, etc., receive those ballots, and are required, by law, to verify:

    1) Voter signatures,
    2) Voter IDs,
    3) If voter met residency requirements,
    4) If voter is dead or alive,
    5) If voter met age requirements,
    6) If voter were a citizen, i.e., born in the US (copy of birth certificate) or naturalized (copy of citizen papers)

    After checking all those criteria, Town Clerks, etc., mark the voters as having voted, on registered voter lists.
    The total of such markings is called the turnout, which is reported by Town clerks to State election officials.

    NOTE: Town clerks have stated they cannot check all these criteria, because their records lack sufficient documentation.

    Vote Counting in Democrat-controlled Cities in Swing States

    If the total marks on registered voter lists of swing states (provided by Town Clerks, etc.) were compared with the total ballots counted (by Democrat-controlled cities in swing states), it would be immediately apparent millions of additional ballots were counted without having been marked by Town Clerks, etc. Such ballots likely have mysterious origins.

    NOTE: In Pennsylvania, from just after midnight to 6 AM, on November 4, while almost everyone was sleeping, Biden was credited with about 570,000 votes and Trump with about 3,000 votes. The Biden votes did not dribble in, as would normally be the case, but came as massive spikes. See 16-minute video

  3. Mr. Shepard,
    A very good point made about the length of the sessions. Shorter sessions and single member districts would be a much needed improvement in our state.

  4. Okay Mark, I’ll bite. You’ve correctly sighted the single sentence in the United States Constitution (Article II, §1) which reads: “The President of the Senate shall, in the Presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the Certificates, and the Votes shall then be counted.” There is no other descriptive language, no court cases cited interpreting this sentence in some fashion different than how it reads, but you claim this one sentence authorizes Mike Pence to refuse the certificates of electors that were authorized by their respective states.

    The President claimed last night that, if Mike Pence does not reject these elector certificates, he will be acting in violation of the Constitution. But he cites no court cases interpreting this single sentence either.

    Call me a stupid lawyer (I’ve been called worse), but it seems to me this explicit language provides Mike Pence with only one responsibility: he has to open the certificates. ALL the certificates. And he must do so in the presence of Congress. I read nothing here that authorizes him to reject those certificates.

    Oddly enough, as I type this the news is reporting that Mike Pence just sent a letter to Congress acknowledging that his role is strictly ceremonial in nature. He’s reading this single sentence the same way I am.

    Somebody is wrong in this argument. Are both Mike Pence and I wrong in our interpretations of this single sentence? If so, I’d like to hear your evidence.

  5. Regardless of how the election results turn out, there will not be “keep the peace”. In AL a record number of guns have been bought, up 300% more this period than in the previous 3 years. Ammunition sales are very high. Women are buying guns and taking safety courses. The store shelves are almost bare. Tells you something. People are voting with their purchases. The Dems with their brown shirts, destroying the cities and life are the cause. Seeing the reaction. Police say protect yourself.

    The country has become a split nation, survival becoming a priority.

  6. It seems incredibly tough for Donald Trump to recognize that he simply did not win this election. Unfortunately loosing elections happen and this is nothing out of the ordinary. In many ways this is just about someone who hates to lose and will do anything he can, including pressuring the Georgia Secretary of State to “find” votes to allow him to victory.

    The election results have been tested by court challenges and recounts and have found to be valid. Electors have been certified in all 50 states by the proper process. There is still a final step of reading the results and Congress certifying those results which will take place on Wednesday.

    Some insight into why we are in this current situation and why in fact President Trump seems to be unable to contain himself from lashing out whenever anyone does something he does not like can be found in the following link:

    • John, are you blind? And you’re linking to MSN? You’ve not learned a basic truth: the mainstream media has all along been feeding a narrative of Trump that simply isn’t true. For example, we’re told that Trump refuses to condemn right-wing violence, yet nothing is further from the truth: And now we have this MSN hit piece presenting us with a confirming narrative: Trump has an addiction to being right, and he’s protesting the election not because there’s widespread evidence of fraud, but because of his psychological faults. What a bunch of crap! And you fall for this uncritically.

      No, Trump did not pressure the Georgia Secretary of State to “find” votes– you should listen to that call. Trump pressured Raffensperger to do an honest investigation into the fraud allegations, including allowing a signature verification of the ballots in Fulton county, which is the county under dispute, instead of lobbing off Cobb county on the investigators, when Cobb county isn’t under dispute, and then pretending that the signatures in question have been verified. As one of the Trump lawyers on that call commented, Raffensperger and company have been telling us all along that there’s nothing to see yet they won’t allow outside investigators to look for themselves, expecting us to trust them at their word that all the many accusations of fraud are baseless. Trump’s point wasn’t to “find” votes, although that’s how the mainstream spins it, and this is blindingly clear so that even you might understand it if you took the time to listen to the call instead of repeating what you’re told to think. Trump’s point was that all of the instances of voting irregularities in Georgia add up to many times the 11,000-some needed to put him on the winner’s side, and to ensure Americans of a fair vote in Georgia, it really was incumbent upon Raffensperger to allow for a transparent and full investigation of all the irregularities so that all Americans, and the people of Georgia, can see for themselves that there’s nothing to see. But no, Georgia refuses to do that.

      This all stinks to high heaven. Suggest you get off the mainstream and stop thinking that it’s here to tell you the truth, because it isn’t. It’s here to tell us what to think, and about half of America has figured that out and will not put up with a stolen election.

      The courts have investigated nothing! They have pointedly refused to investigate. Recounts valid? What happens when you have 100,000 fraudulent ballots brought in and then recount them? Guess what? You’re going to get the same counts. What happens when you have a 68% adjudication rate by Dominion machines and then these are adjudicated with no monitors and with no audit trail? How do you recount those?

      • Jim,
        I think it is wise in our search for the truth to get information from a variety of sources right, left and middle as well as keeping in mind the point of view of those writing the stories. I also agree with you that the “got ya” type of questioning too often practiced by journalists in new conferences and reporting is both unhelpful and down right annoying.

        The link I provided earlier is an article from a Yale researcher who studies the role of grievances and retaliation in violent crime. It is worth a read and explains the addictive nature of grievances and how they can harm not only on individuals but the people around them and our country. It also helps explains why President Trump cannot seem to stop tweeting, even when it is not to his or his agenda’s advantage.

        In regards to fraud in Georgia, a state whose election process is overseen by Republicans, there was a news conference on Monday by Republican Gabriel Sterling, a top election official in Georgia who point by point goes through the charges President Trump brought forth and what actually happened in Georgia. You can find and watch the news conference by googling Gabriel Sterling news conference. Here is a written link to his point by point rebuttal:
        Since this is from the New York Times you might prefer watching the conference itself rather than reading about it.

        • As Jay mentioned, the NYTimes fails to tell us that there was no water main break. Furthermore, the NYTimes, in the transcript to the Sterling news conference, fails to tell us that the ballot recount occurred in Cobb county, not in Fulton county, where the vast bulk of irregularities were reported.

          Regarding the “machines didn’t have modems” claim of Mr. Sterling, it should be noted that no outside experts have been allowed to look at the machines– as Trump and his team stated in the phone call– and Eric Coomer of Dominion is on video as stating that there’s a lot of discretion of users as to how these machines are connected to the internet.

          John, I don’t think you understand that this is part of a larger design to bring this country to its knees. A year ago none of us would have imagined that we’d have opted for lockdowns as opposed to a more reasonable approach of focused protection and the use of hydroxychloroquine (and now ivermectin) to combat Covid. Instead of this, a massive campaign was launched to discredit hydroxychloroquine, including a hit piece published in the world’s premier medical journal, the Lancet, which was so egregiously bad that readers, even without background data, could spot the BS, and the supposedly peer-reviewed paper had to be retracted. A year ago none of us would have imagined that our liberties would be infringed upon for so long, and for so little valid reason. A year ago none of us would have imagined that an election would be blatantly stolen and that public figures, like Sterling, would stand up and lie about it in an attempt to divert attention from very real issues. None of us– or at least speaking for myself, I wouldn’t have– believed that we would be outmaneuvered by an organization that had wrested control of the mainstream media, which is being used against the people to convince them, through constant repetition, that a certain narrative is being played out and that Trump is a mean and selfish and psychological damaged man who is to blame for all our problems. This is all fiction, all made-for-TV, all fantasy. This, I think, is the hardest truth of all to grasp: the mainstream media isn’t here to tell us the truth, it’s here to tell us what to think. Yes, it really is that bad. Right out of 1984, and it’s happening right in front of our very eyes. This past year should have made the media fantasy machine blatantly obvious, but for many it’s only served to reinforce “the truth.”

      • Jim: Most of us have learned of Mr. Freitag’s selective memory process. While he recommends “our search for the truth to get information from a variety of sources”, he never practices what he preaches. I’ve characterized his behavior as pathological, and that’s giving him the benefit of the doubt. If he can control his behavior, if his hypocrisy is intentional, that’s an entirely different ball game.

        Here’s another case in point in this instance. Freitag cites the NYT article with STERLING’S EXPLANATION: “Late in the evening, after the water main break had been fixed, election workers prepared to go home for the night and followed standard procedures to store ballots securely:”

        Well, if Freitag considered ‘a variety of sources’, he would know that a ‘water main break’ in the State Farm Arena never happened. Yes, CBS later reported there was a minor water leak that was fixed quickly without incident. Some have reported it was a leaking toilet. But it didn’t affect the vote counting process and no one mentioned any water leak as an excuse until the video of the unauthorized vote counting surfaced. Further, there is no mention in the NYT article about the press and vote watchers being sent home, ostensibly because vote counting was stopping for the night…when it actually continued.

        Again, I give Mr. Freitag the benefit of the doubt on his inability to recognize the hypocrisy of his positions, be they recommendations to move past the election and come together, as if the Democrats did that with Trump in 2016, or his failure to address the Georgia Federal Judge who blocked an order from a lower court to verify ballot signatures, never mind that the judge is Stacy Abram’s sister. You know, the same Stacy Abrams who claimed her election for Georgia governor was stolen.

        But if we find out Mr. Freitag knows better, that he is intentionally trying to mislead TNR readers, I’ll revise my opinion of him accordingly.

        • John = Jim lol…Jim is Johns sockpuppet…only way he can have a ‘meaningful’ conversation is to create very own ‘conservative’ account as he has managed to alienate by attacking with polite but nasty digs designed to express hatred for patriot conservatives lol

          • That’s what you said last time you were busted. Serves to manipulate comment section by acting as buffer censoring replies by pushing them away from your comments which have clearly gotten under your skin. As Mr Eshelman and others ever so skillfully politely dismantled your rigged game another trick is employed. Pathological comes to mind.

            Persistantly slam conservatives with smooth but nasty digs. Conversing with alter-ego ‘answering’ ridicoulously lengthy comment with another equally lengthy reply and another and…so no one can answer directly necessitating taking it to top of page and wasting it’s value for original posts. Tho not the only one to pull this comment-flushing game generally multiple shorter comments are used.

          • Sorry? Jay Eshelman has dismantled my rigged game? I happen to agree with Mr. Eshelman. And I happen to have great respect for conservatives and am in agreement with them regarding this election, the threats to our country, and the threats to our liberty, and nothing I’ve said is supportive of anything that the left or the RINOS are saying now.

            Apparently my crime is that I stood up for Mr. Frietag’s right to express himself civilly, although it might have escaped your attention that this supposed “sockpuppet” (i.e., myself) disagrees with him.

            The only person here whose comments I feel are out-of-line and uncivil are yours, and not so much for your political stance but for your nastiness and readiness to hurl insults. Our conservation is over as far as I’m concerned; rant away. I’m wasting my time responding to you, or even bothering to read your comments.

  7. I’m inclined to believe now that a peaceful transition of political power may no longer be possible. For certain, if VP Pence intervenes, even if its constitutionally legitimate, the people who rioted this summer will triple their efforts. On the other hand, while conservatives tend to be more reasonable, we are remarkably close to igniting that tinderbox as well. Nonetheless, if it’s ‘peace’ you’re looking for, letting the progressive democrats have their way is the best bet… but only over the short term. And that’s no guaranty.

    Unfortunately, I further suspect that the longer conservatives acquiesce to the unreasonable progressive democrat behavior we’ve recently witnessed, the less peaceful the ultimate conflict will be when the tinderbox does ignite. So, while I do advocate for VP Pence to intervene, make no mistake, it isn’t going to be a peaceful outcome when he does so. Forewarned is forearmed.

    • Jay Eshelman: Well put. What the left does not realize is it is they, along with near useless establishment Republicans that just let things slide leftward, that put Trump in office. They created a hole that required someone who did not give a hoot what people thought or said about him. And it is pretty much useless to tell them because they cannot comprehend their part in the mess we are in.

      From what I am seeing from people like Phil Scott and his team seem far more interested in Republican-oriented voters having no choice but to vote for them to keep them in their place of personal comfort, than in seriously working for those voters. It is so much like the way the Democratic Party has used the inner-city Black population. I think they and we are waking up to the reality that politics is a game to these people, whereas for us we are forced to deal with it because it is destroying the things we value. They simply do not get it.

  8. Mark,

    I agree with your essay.

    You definitely show you are a smart Vermont Senator.

    I think you should run to replace Lynch, who is nothing but whatever.

    • Willem, Thank you. The reason I or any number of other equally able Vermonters are not in the legislature is here: Since I realized this, which was from the strain of the two terms I served, I have maintained that this is Vermont’s biggest issue, because it shuts a very needed voice out of the policy making process. And it is not an accident.

      • Mark,

        It appears a small POLITICAL CLASS has taken over Vermont on a permanent basis.

        That class has well-developed sets of obfuscating/deceptive mantras that aim to fool most people, so they will be re-elected over and over.

        That class sets up government programs (financed by other people) to cement dependency and votes.

        That class is well financed by party funds, and funds from special interest groups, such EAN, which puts out these bizarre/unrealistic “reports”, which mainly serve as CYAs for Legislators.

        If such reports were presented by consulting engineers to the managements of private enterprise companies, they would be thrown out of the office.

        Here is an example, which I analyzed, based on my 40 years of professional experience in the energy sector:


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